Di Canio rages at Bardsley for ‘passing out’ on pile of bank notes in casino 3

You’ll NEVER play for me again! Di Canio tells Bardsley after shamed Sunderland star poses with £50 notes in casino

Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley was dropped from the final match of the season after being photographed in a casino lying down – apparently passed out – while covered in £50 notes.
Bardsley appeared to enjoy his winnings a touch too enthusiastically though, and was pictured lying down before friends covered him in banknotes

Bardsley appeared to enjoy his winnings a touch too enthusiastically though, and was pictured lying down before friends covered him in banknotes

After Sunderland secured their Premier League status ahead of the finale against Tottenham, the defender was on a midweek gambling session with team-mate Matt Kilgallon.

Celebration- Bardsley and Matt Kilgallon celebrated in a casino after Wigan's defeat ensured their Premier League survival

Celebration- Bardsley and Matt Kilgallon celebrated in a casino after Wigan’s defeat ensured their Premier League survival


Di Canio said after Sunderland’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham on Sunday:

“I saw the picture on a website and moments later he was out of my squad.

“How can I play a player that probably is blurry for three, four days after what’s happened?

“I want to deliver a very clear message: there is no excuse to behave like he did.”They went out because Wigan lost the game and we stay up.

“I could understand it if we had won the Champions League or maybe the FA Cup.

“We have to respect the dignity of the club, and the fans.

“I thought that at Swindon… arrogant, ignorant footballers because they’ve not had many chances to stay at the top level.

“I have to tell you unfortunately I found a worse environment in terms of discipline in this club.”This is what I’ve found in the last few weeks so we have to change completely.”

Di Canio and Bardsley have a discussion on the touchline during a game - that may never happen again at Sunderland

Di Canio and Bardsley have a discussion on the touchline during a game – that may never happen again at Sunderland


Reporter: You wanted a good performance from the side…

Paolo Di Canio: You are very generous. No, in terms of discipline, desire and commitment, nothing to say. I really think you know that they gave everything.

I told them, obviously, Bale once again, unfortunately made the difference but you can appreciate the goal he scored. It’s obvious that they should score even before. They deserved to stay 1-0 up early but in terms of commitment, desire to only say thanks to the players but that should be normal.

It’s obvious my frustration is because we didn’t cause more problems to the opponent but in general today, yes. I’m happy. Very happy.

Because, after what’s happened during the week, it wasn’t easy. Coming here with 11 adults, or six, seven adults, some young on the field starting XI and six kids on the bench wasn’t easy. Until the end we were nearly able to pick a point. That is one of the only good things that happened today.

Reporter: Can you explain what has happened with Phil Bardsley, and tell us any more about the pictures that appeared in the Sunday newspapers (of the defender lying on the floor covered in £50 notes)?

PDC: You know more than me. I discovered… I saw the picture on a website, later, of the night that they spent out so what do I have to tell you? He’s out of my squad. It’s obvious. How I can play a player that probably is blurry for three, four days after what’s happened?

More important I want to deliver the very clear message I wanted to deliver since the beginning that there is not an excuse to behave like he did, because Wigan lost the game so we stayed up, otherwise every time we are going to beat Man United what are we going to do? Or after every Newcastle game? What are we going to do, spend two nights out because we are happy?

I can understand if we win a Champions League or maybe an FA Cup. Even having two glasses of red wine I can understand because I know it is a different culture. It can happen also to me. I celebrated a UEFA Cup with Juventus – more in the night, more drink. I don’t want to change the culture of the people but I told them, from the day before, from now I will be more strict because I will judge you more carefully because now we have to improve our professionalism.

We have to respect the dignity of the club and the fans because they still follow us, 3,000 people, and respect the rules of the sport because, like we were happy when Swansea won against Wigan, we have to make sure we give everything to make it difficult for Tottenham, obviously for ourselves, but also for the others.

The most important is for us but also for the sport in general. They have to care what is going on around us. But, if you don’t respect yourself, how can you respect the others?

Reporter: Does this affect his (Bardsley’s) future?

PDC: I will think really carefully. Always I give a second chance to people. We are talking about 31 years of age (Bardsley is 27) not a kid, with a family at home. I’m not here to be a priest, to convince the people to be different but to talk about my club and my team. We have a fantastic academy. We have young players that are in the changing room next to adults.

If we don’t punish this kind of behaviour, what are we talking about, a fantastic academy? They’re going to sprint down, get their boots and say ‘good morning’ to everybody? They’re very educated people, but if we don’t punish this kind of behaviour, how do they grow up? Thinking they can laugh about what they saw on the website picture? Maybe they think it’s fantastic; to be like a gangster. But what mentality are we going to deliver?

Sometimes I discovered here at Sunderland – and at many other places, unfortunately – there is always a fantastic Christmas box. Then inside…oh, nothing. There is a piece of chocolate that’s open already. We have to put something in this box – maybe you like a diamond? – otherwise we’re always talking and we close our eyes and we’re never going to change. In the future I will be very clear with the players.

Reporter: Is this about changing English drinking culture?

PDC: It’s not an English culture, just a different culture. I don’t want to change the culture because I love England. When you decide to work in an environment there is positive and negative. I know this part. I was speaking with Andre (Villas-Boas) before and it’s normal, but not often and not at the wrong time. There is (a right) time and (a wrong) time.

Tonight I can imagine, even after the Newcastle game, I can imagine. But not like we saw (on Tuesday night). That is something really wrong. It’s disgusting me even to see the image for the club. It’s not about going out with your friend and getting back at two o’clock or three o’clock, which is late. But you can close one eye. But not full of alcohol and walking like this. They have to behave well.

It takes three or four days (to recover). I realised in the morning because I didn’t see the picture, to be honest, I told my assistant manager: ‘I don’t play Phil Sunday or today.’
‘Why?’  ‘Look. I speak to him and he looks in the sky. He can’t listen to what I’m going to tell him. He’s blurry. I don’t know what’s happened.’

The day after I discovered what had happened and, obviously, I rang my player and I discovered it was a really, really bad situation. I discovered that out with him were other players, but the others left the two guys, who got into the casino and stayed there until early in the morning, which is completely different.

Obviously, Tuesday night they went out together, had dinner and watched the game. They are allowed to do this. They had a drink, celebrated and they were happy. I can imagine. Ten o’clock, 11 o’clock, MIDNIGHT…but not exaggerate. What I saw is not acceptable for my club and for my squad. That is not acceptable.

Reporter: Will you make changes for next season?

PDC: Talking about mentality, it’s not only the manager. All my staff, we have to make sure that when we bring in players they are good professionals because they have to influence each other. The dressing room is their kingdom. I can put the strict rules to help them to understand we have to behave in a different way but we need to bring in six or seven players who know how to behave and have a professional ethic and then they can help each other.

Otherwise, for me, it’s difficult. In general, we need to bring in quality, particularly up front, because to win games you need to score. We don’t score many goals.

Reporter: Harry Redknapp has fined one player more than he earns this month. Are you finding you are having to fine more players than you expected?

PDC: At the beginning I thought it was difficult. Week by week, daily, I discover we have more problems than I expected. That’s why I said to everybody we made a miracle (to survive) because what we discovered this week is only one aspect of the problems we’ve got. It doesn’t mean that everybody goes out every night and has a drinking session – no.

In general, talking about professionalism or the job we want to deliver or rules, I go mad. I tell you this. What’s happened to Bardsley is a far path for me, for what’s happened in the last three days … a few other players. In a week, I gave in seven players’ hands, seven fines. Even for small things. Half an hour late.

Reporter: Is David Vaughan next (after his red card against Tottenham)?

PDC: No, in this kind of situation, two yellow cards. We can help him to understand it is a moment in the game, no no no. Different reasons. Obviously Craig (Gardner) being sent off (against Aston Villa) it was clear it was a silly, silly challenge. He has to be punished in some way.

He got a three-match ban. He said sorry. But we live in life. I was driving fast two months ago. I say sorry but I get fined. Probably they are going to deduct six points. I was wrong. Picture (from a speed camera). That wasn’t public! I should have sent other information. Maybe my brother. Paolo Di Canio was guilty, I have to pay the price. Otherwise I am never going to have self-discipline. So we have to help the people to understand that they have to take responsibility.

This week. Seven fined and this morning, and this morning once again … even if I didn’t care about what has happened at Academy of Light … some player that could be involved for different reasons in my squad today. They decide they don’t train that day. They made the diagnosis. One player didn’t go to Academy of Light because he said yesterday, I had food poisoning. Sorry, are you a doctor? The doctor tried to contact him? Three hours he switched off the telephone. This is the situation at Sunderland.

This is why I tell you we made a miracle. Previously eight games with three points. With Di Canio, seven games and eight points. That is the miracle we made. And without the strikers, because before there was (Steven) Fletcher, Stephane (Sessegnon), Craig (Gardener) available. Three top strikers.

That is the miracle we made. But we can’t make a miracle for ever so we have to change a lot of things. If they want to change something they have to follow me, otherwise it’s difficult to get better results than what they got in the last few years.

Reporter: Have you spoken to the owner? Will he support you?

PDC: He knows many things. I spoke to him before. He told me we are going to change many things. This is what he told me before. Relax. We are going to change many things so it sounds that he supports me completely. We will see in the future.

Reporter: You said you have fined seven players. Can you tell us what for?

PDC: No, different reasons, different rules. They are not my rules. They are the rule you have in every club. If you are injured. You know that you have a plan. You know that in the morning, you have treatment. In the afternoon, you have to go in the pool. And you leave at lunchtime and you switch off the telephone and nobody can contact you all day. You have to get fined.

But this is not Paolo DI Canio. When I gave the fine in his hands the day after, he was surprised. Before it was normal, to leave the training ground and switch off the telephone.

Then the day after, everybody forgot, because it was more convenient, they don’t have friction with the player, probably. I don’t care. To have an argument with my players but I have to go through the rules. This was one.

Then there were a few others. If you think after Aston Villa, we lost 6-1, I gave the appointment at 4pm in the afternoon. Somebody arrived at 20 past four. I didn’t give them an appointment at 7am. At 4pm, someone arrived late. What sense of responsibility do they have?

They live five minutes from the Academy of Light. I was waiting there in the corridor. Three, four players arrived by walking. Not running. This was the behaviour in the Premier League. A club that every year spent millions and millions. It’s not acceptable.

I thought that at Swindon, League Two, arrogant, ignorant footballers in some way, so they don’t know exactly because there are not many chances to stay at the top level. I have to tell you unfortunately, I found a worse environment in terms of discipline in this club.

This is what I found in the last three weeks so we have to change completely. It will be very hard if I don’t receive the maximum support from the board because I know that every time the player will go to the PFA. The PFA will call and you have to let them speak, and they excuse people that behave like Phil Bardsley and you can’t fine them.

Let them speak, they them explain. What is there to say? They are under a private club. It’s a private club that pay them. The PFA don’t pay. We have to defend the professionalism and the dignity. They have to understand. We receive already a phone call, it was a clear misconduct. Yeah, but you have to… Hey, lads, the club pay them. Not you. It happened to me many times at Swindon. Now we have to be more sensible. But it’s very difficult to change.

Reporter: Will the players you have fined still be at Sunderland next year, if you can control that?

PDC: No. Not under me.

Reporter: Will you get the financial backing you need to do that?

PDC: I know that there is a plan. The picture is clear before me. I have told about it already. I am head coach, the others have to handle the financial situation. I have said we need this player, this quality, in this position, show me the player we can go and I tell them yes this player is OK.

Reporter: Will you cut the players’ holiday time?

PDC: For the players? The next few days we will be in together because previously once again the people you see organised during the week to go from London to Hawaii, Miami. They were thinking four or five days ago we will organise the bags, my wife, my girlfriend, we go together. Not possible.

Today (Sunday) we fly back to Sunderland, our city, as a team. We stay tomorrow (Monday) together with the kids’ sponsors which we have a job to do with, then some players have international football and the others will stay together. We will enjoy it and then they can go on holiday.

Reporter: Can we just ask about today’s game? Did you think Spurs should have had two penalties? Did Bale deserve a yellow card for diving?

PDC: I saw only the challenge shoulder to shoulder. I didn’t see if there were crossed legs. I don’t know what happened. Its difficult for me to focus. The Bale one can be a yellow card or a penalty, sometimes it’s 50-50. I saw that it was contact but it wasn’t clear. I don’t know about the other one. I am not sure if he (Cuellar) opened his arms. If you do it’s a penalty but I don’t know. It was 70 yards away.

Reporter: Can Spurs compete with Arsenal and maybe challenge for the title?

PDC: With this manager, with Andre, and with two or three top, top (signings) it will be easy. That bit, it take a lot, you need a big big quality, another top, top striker because Defoe and Adebayor they can guarantee goals but they need a top, top striker up front, in my opinion.

If they do get one they are in contention for the league because Man City and Chelsea are going to reinforce their team and (Jose) Mourinho will probably come back but the job that they have done already this year is amazing.