April 4, 2013 13:41

Billy Bragg dedicates anti-fascist song to Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio

Bragg is the latest figure to criticise Di Canio's appointment

Billy Bragg has recorded a video message for the new Sunderland FC manager Paolo Di Canio, dedicating the track 'All You Fascists' to him.

The appointment of Di Canio on Sunday (March 31) has provoked three days of controversy, after he previously admitted he was a "fascist", although he said that did not qualify him as a racist. Politician David Miliband resigned as the club's vice-chairman over his appointment and the Dean of Durham called on him to renounce the ideology publicly or risk being associated with "toxic far-right tendencies", the Guardian reports.

Now political activist and musician Billy Bragg has attacked his appointment, recording a video message before his performance at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle last night (April 3). "Paolo Di Canio says he's not a racist, he's a fascist as if that somehow makes it respectable," he says in the clip – which you can watch above. "Well I've got a message for you, Mr Di Canio, all you fascists are bound to lose," he added before launching into his cover of the Woody Guthrie song.

In a statement also issued yesterday, Di Canio said: "I am not a racist and I do not support the ideology of fascism. I respect everyone. I am a football man and this and my family are my focus. Now I will speak only of football."

Billy Bragg released his first new album in five years, 'Tooth & Nail' on March 18. The follow-up to 2008's 'Mr Love & Justice', it was recorded in South Pasadena, California by producer Joe Henry, and, says Bragg, sees him returning to the rootsy sound of his and Wilco's 'Mermaid Avenue' sessions

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