Swindon Town Moment Revealed As One Of Most Watched YouTube Disputes

Touchline disputes – they’re great for supporters, injecting a bit of excitement into games, becoming talking points for years afterwards.

With this in mind, experts at Ticketgum sought to uncover the most rewatched touchline disputes in football history. In order to do this, they ranked famous disputes by the number of times they’ve been rewatched on YouTube – and one such dispute involved one of our EFL teams.

That’s right – amongst Lampard and Klopp, Gattuso and Jordan, and Wenger and Pardew nestles a wonderful confrontation involving an Italian firebrand and his new star striker. Leon Clarke had been with Swindon Town for just 11 days, joining from QPR as the recently relegated Robins sought to navigate their way through League Two in 2011.

The incident between Clarke and manager Paulo Canio occurred after a Carling Cup defeat to Southampton. Swindon was beaten 3-1, and Di Canio’s fitness coach was unhappy with his striker.

The clash began on the pitch when Clarke got into a disagreement with fitness coach Claudio Donatelli about his condition. Clarke, who hadn’t enjoyed a pre-season, fought back, and as Di Canio appeared to try and diffuse the situation, Clarke and his Italian boss started to row. The argument escalated and became physical, with Di Canio reportedly grabbing Clarke by the neck in the tunnel. The media widely covered the incident, highlighting the intense nature of the disagreement.

As a result of the altercation, Leon Clarke was placed on the transfer list and left the club shortly after the incident. However, Di Canio suggested the player was unhappy before the game, just a week into his move.

“He’s out now even if he’s under contract. He’s never going to play with my team, never,” Di Canio told BBC Wiltshire.

“I discovered that two days [before the game] he asked to leave. I didn’t know that before because I wouldn’t play a player in a Swindon shirt who asked to leave. He doesn’t deserve to wear a Swindon Town shirt in front of the fans.”

Di Canio later admitted the incident showed how he’d calmed down as a manager, telling tabloids; “Paolo Di Canio as a player would fight him straight away. Paolo Di Canio as a player would have punched him straight in the face.

“I am calmer now and I am responsible for thousands of people. In this situation I did nothing wrong as a man or as a manager. I pulled his shirt and shouted at him to go into the dressing room and respect my management.

“It was nothing violent and these things are normal. It happens all the time with managers on touchlines.

“When we were in the tunnel I said, ‘Shut your mouth and get into the dressing room’. The stewards pulled us apart and nothing else happened. We did not fight.”

Di Canio’s management style might have been controversial, but he did guide Swindon to the title that season. Clarke went on loan to Chesterfield, scoring nine goals in 14 outings, moved to Charlton, and then went on loan to Crawley, playing for four clubs in a season.

Is this the touchline spat you expected to make the top ten? Tell us your favourites in the comments!


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