Di Canio to fine overweight Sunderland players
Paolo Di Canio has warned his players to return to pre-season training in top condition, or risk being fined.
The Italian replaced Martin O'Neill at the Stadium of Light in March and guided the Wearside club to top-flight survival thanks to impressive late-season wins over Everton and local rivals Newcastle.
But Di Canio has fired a word of caution to his squad ahead of their return to work next month, insisting he will have no qualms hitting those who break the rules in their pockets.
The former Swindon boss revealed before their final game of last season that seven Sunderland players had been fined for misdemeanours in the build-up to the match.
"Obviously the players have a programme to follow so that they are ready when pre-season begins," Di Canio told the Sunderland Echo.
"When we start, we will start not that heavy, but there will still be a great deal to do and they have to be ready.
"It's normal in the Premier League, that players get punishment for breaking rules set down by the club.
"Everyone who comes back with more than two kg over what their weight should be, we're going to fine them.
"We test them before they go so everyone knows how they finished the season.
"This is important because when they come back they’re going to work three times a day, so it would be crazy to have put too much weight on in a short space of time.
"How can it be possible to come back with seven kg extra?
"They have one month off and then one month to work at a high intensity level and if they do not do that right, then in September, they'll still be heavy.
"You can't work if you've put seven kg on your shoulders.
"I can imagine two kg, because you can run, swim and play tennis as well as having a bit of food or drink - so you can keep a handle on the situation.
"You can accept two kg because after a few days back sweating in five-a-sides that will soon go. But five or six kg? That is not acceptable. We have to be serious about what we want to do."