Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio denied he was a racist or fascist after his controversial appointment received fresh criticism.
Yesterday's press conference at Sunderland's Academy of Light training base was illuminating in every way but one.
Paolo Di Canio refused to answer questions on whether he is a fascist but said the controversy surrounding his appointment was "ridiculous."
Paolo Di Canio, who was sacked as manager of Sunderland AFC in September, has denied that there was a "training ground bust-up" with his players before he was asked to leave.
"There has been a lot written in the media in recent days, much of it wholly untrue," he said.
"There was no training ground bust-up as some are reporting, and many of the players have since sent me messages thanking me for my time as their manager and helping them to improve as footballers."
Sunderland AFC confirmed on 22 September that it had parted company with Di Canio.
Officers were called to a hotel last night following a clash between coaches of Sunderland’s football team and a group of Southampton fans.
Police spoke to three men – aged 20, 45 and 47 – following the altercation but none were arrested.
Sunderland manager Paolo di Canio said: “It was a stupid moment from silly guys under effect of lots of alcohol...
“No footballers, no fight. This is the real situation and the way it happened."
Newcastle United fans have been warned by police not to taunt Paolo Di Canio, the manager of fierce rivals Sunderland, with fascist salutes.
Ahead of Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby, Steve Neill, of Northumbria Police, said: "Offensive gestures, particularly those with a suggestion of racist connotations, are completely unacceptable and we will take positive action against anyone seen acting in an offensive or racist manner.
"While some individuals may see this sort of behaviour as a means of poking fun at opposing fans - it is not a joke."
"Offensive behaviour can constitute a criminal offence and such behaviour is taken seriously."
"Football matches are routinely monitored by CCTV and even if action is not taken during the match, it can be checked retrospectively."
Paolo Di Canio again refused to publicly explain his political views after suffering defeat on his debut as Sunderland manager, but insisted "as a person you don't change".
He could not prevent Sunderland's winless run extending to nine games as Chelsea won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge and declined to comment directly on his views in the post-match media conference.
– Paolo Di Canio
As a person you don't change, but you become an adult, you become a manager. You can also handle your nature because you know now you're not a footballer, now you have responsibility for many others.
Obviously your nature never changes, but you can lead, you can guide because you know that you have to be careful sometimes when you do something. I don't think you are the same person than 20 years ago, 10 years ago.
We all change. We maintain the principles of when we were growing up, but we change a bit as a man, now as a manager.
Durham Miners tell me they are a "lot happier now the club have stopped dithering" over the Paolo Di Canio fascism issue and said someone from Sunderland will visit them tomorrow.
They said their banner, which they had demanded to be removed from the Stadium of Light, can stay put.
The club's links to the coal pits goes back to 1936 when the local miners' association sent men to fight against fascists in the Spanish civil war.
Sunderland's new manager Paolo Di Canio is believed to have attended the funeral of an Italian fascist linked to a terrorist bombing that killed 85 people.
Pictures appear to show the Italian paying his respects three years ago to Paolo Signorelli, who was jailed for eight years after the Bologna train station attack in 1980.
Signorelli was later acquitted on appeal due to insufficient evidence but was found guilty of being part of an "armed band" and a "subversion against democracy", The Sun reports.
He had been a member of the Italian Socialist Movement which emerged after the collapse of Benito Mussolini's Fascist party.
Di Canio released a statement today saying he is "not a racist" and does "not support the fascist ideology."
Sunderland's new manager Paolo Di Canio has taken his first training session at the club since his appointment on Wednesday.
The session happened before the Italian released a statement saying he was "not a racist" and did "not support the ideology of fascism."
Sunderland's new manager Paolo Di Canio has released a statement on the club's official website where he says "I am not a racist and I do not support the ideology of fascism."
I have clearly stated that I do not wish to speak about matters other than football, however, I have been deeply hurt by the attacks on the football club.
This is a historic, proud and ethical club and to read and hear some of the vicious and personal accusations is painful. I am an honest man, my values and principles come from my family and my upbringing.
– Paolo Di Canio statement
I feel that I should not have to continually justify myself to people who do not understand this, however I will say one thing only - I am not the man that some people like to portray.
I am not political, I do not affiliate myself to any organisation, 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.