Paolo Di Canio was last night sacked by Sunderland after a major bust-up involving senior players.

The Italian held a fiery training ground inquest with his squad after the 3-0 defeat to West Brom and the disastrous fall-out ended his reign at the Stadium of Light. With owner Ellis Short taking fright at the club’s disastrous early season form Di Canio and his squad held an inquest yesterday at the Academy of Light.

But Di Canio found himself turned on by at least two old heads who hammered home some tough criticism of his methods especially his man-management.

He was told they were sick of his constant criticism especially in public.

Players were particularly upset to have their effort professionalism and commitment questioned by their manager.

The brutal exchange and vocal dissent proved to be the last straw in Di Canio’s controversial reign at the Stadium of Light. Roberto Di Matteo is among the early contenders to succeed him.