Smith fined for lost shirt
Matt Smith was fined a week’s wages on Monday for throwing his shirt into the crowd after scoring third-tier side Oldham Athletic’s stoppage-time equalizer against Premier League side Everton on Saturday in their FA Cup fifth-round clash. The club had warned players not to swap shirts with their opponents — not because of bad sportsmanship, but because they simply cannot afford to buy any new kit. However, the 23-year-old striker, who scored twice in the previous round when Oldham shocked Everton’s city rivals Liverpool, was so happy at scoring to make it 2-2 that he completely forgot and hurled his shirt into the crowd, an impulsive gesture which has cost him a fine of about ￡400 (US$620). The goal earned a replay at Everton on Wednesday next week. The club are also desperately trying to find the person who caught the shirt as they would like to have it back. One of Smith’s teammates, Jose Baxter, who swapped his shirt with Leighton Baines, told the Daily Mail: “We all got carried away and didn’t really think about the notice. I just hope we’ve got enough kit for Tuesday [when they had a game with Stevenage].”
Di Canio quits Swindon
Colorful Italian coach Paolo di Canio resigned as manager of financially troubled third-tier side Swindon Town 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, SS Lazio and Celtic striker had been incensed earlier this month after the club’s best player, Matt Ritchie, was sold to rivals Bournemouth 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 last month 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 [5pm on Monday] 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 more than ￡9 million (US$14 million). Last month, Di Canio 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 league would not clear the deals.
Celta fire Paco Herrera
RC Celta de Vigo have fired head coach Paco Herrera and replaced him with Abel Resino, the relegation-threatened club announced on Monday. “Celta Vigo have signed Abel Resino as first team coach. He will replace Paco Herrera on the bench,” a statement on the club’s Web site said. Herrera guided the team back into the top flight last season, but has seen results slide during this campaign as the team sit 18th in La Liga and four points from safety, with just five wins from 24 matches. Celta lost their last outing 3-1 at Getafe on Saturday, which was enough for club management to bring down the axe on Herrera’s reign. Resino was a former goalkeeper with Atletico Madrid and helped the capital club lift the Copa del Rey in 1991 and 1992, before coaching for a brief spell in 2009.