Di Canio resigns as Swindon manager after deadline passes

LONDON (AFP) - Colourful Italian coach Paolo di Canio resigned as manager of financially-troubled English League One side Swindon on Monday after the Football League failed to grant approval to the prospective new owners of the club by a deadline he had imposed.

The 44-year-old former AC Milan, Juventus, Lazio and Celtic striker had been incensed earlier this month after the club's best player Matt Ritchie was sold to promotion rivals Bournemouth for £500,000 (S$959,300) on transfer deadline day.

However, Di Canio, who famously served a long suspension for shoving over referee Paul Alcock while playing for Sheffield Wednesday in 1998, had agreed to stay on in the hope that the league would approve the new owners.

Their arrival on the scene at the end of January helped the club stave off going into administration but their approval has taken a longer time to come from the Football League than Di Canio had hoped.

"I've been told approval has not been granted yet (as of 1700GMT) and therefore my temporary arrangement has ended and my resignation stands," said Di Canio, who took over in May 2011.

Ritchie's departure came after weeks of financial uncertainty for Swindon, who have debts of over £9 million.

In January, Di Canio, who led Swindon to promotion from League Two as champions last season and are presently sixth in League One, offered to give the club £30,000 of his own money to keep several loan signings.

But days later owner Andrew Black put the club up for sale and on transfer deadline day Di Canio saw moves for three players fall through because the Football League wouldn't clear the deals.