On This Day in 1996, Celtic signed Paolo Di Canio from AC Milan. The player, who is constantly followed by controversy due to his antics, was an integral part of Tommy Burns’ exciting team back in 1996/97. It is quite impressive that a player with such a reputation only spent one season in Scottish football.
Di Canio left under a cloud after a contract stand-off with Fergus McCann. The Italian, then 27, refused to travel to the Netherlands for pre-season in 1997. This sped up the process, especially with Tommy Burns leaving and Wim Jansen coming in. Di Canio would later admit regret at the way he left the club.
In 37 appearances for Celtic, Di Canio scored 15 goals and whilst he did not win anything as Tommy Burns’ side came agonisingly close to knocking Rangers off their perch. Di Canio left for £4m in a deal that took the Italian to Sheffield Wednesday in August 1997. Although he was a top player, Celtic stopped ten in a row the season Di Canio left and replaced him with a £650k signing from Feyenoord, who didn’t turn out to be too bad.