Harty on... Paolo Di Canio and David Haye

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EVEN by its own crazy standards, to sack a manager five games into the season beggars belief, but then again, I’d imagine there were possibly as many eyebrows raised when Sunderland replaced the ever-dependable Martin O’Neill with the enigmatic Paolo Di Canio with eight games to go last season.

Given his previous managerial reign at Swindon, it was always going to be a roller coaster ride of epic proportions, and I do seriously wonder if there is a chairman in domestic football brave or foolish to give the Italian another chance in management.

What it does do is, at the time of going to press, pave a possible return for Gus Poyet as it has been widely reported that the Black Cats have already made contact with the former Albion boss’s representatives.

While the end of his reign at the Amex disappointed all parties, I believe he can do a job at Premiership level, and if does get the nod at the Stadium of Light there will also be an opportunity for Mauricio Tarrico and Charlie Oatway to return to employment as well.

One possible caveat on offer of the job which I hope will be stipulated, is that Poyet drops his on-going legal fight with the Albion.

To re-iterate, the parting of the Albion and Poyet wasn’t pleasant and there is possibly a degree of blame on both sides, so washing the Albion and Poyet’s dirty linen in the courts will be ultimately damaging for all concerned, so, hopefully, he will get the nod on Wearside and everyone can move on.

As entertaining as he clearly is, Tyson Fury made a bit of a chump of himself at the weekend when he tried to suggest that David Haye had created his nine-stitch cut eye to get out of this Saturday’s sell out heavyweight bout in Manchester.

Haye might be a lot of things, but a coward he clearly isn’t. I’m glad the fight has already been re-scheduled for February 8, as I will stay with the prediction I had intended to make in this week’s column, Haye will knock Fury out inside four rounds.

And finally, a couple of upcoming local sporting charity events this weekend, which if you can get along to either, your support will be greatly appreciated.

This Friday evening there is a charity boxing show at the Empire Club, Penhill Road, Lancing, in aid of that wonderful charity the Macmillan Cancer Trust.

The first of seven scheduled bouts is at 8pm and tickets are £10 each and can be purchased on the door, for more information, please contact Albert Brown on 07900 347935.

While on Sunday at Southwick Football Club, a former club legend Melvyn Hocking is remembered when a Southwick legends XI take on their counterparts from Shoreham Football Club, kick off is 2pm.

Having served the club for almost 30 years Melvyn was the kind of the person that non-league football simply would not have operated without and his tragic death in May rocked the club.

Aside from the game itself which will feature such footballing luminaries as Jason Tighe, Jack Dineen, Mark Burt, Kevin Keehan and Ashley Carr amongst others, there will also be a raffle and an auction with a signed Arsenal Championship shirt from 1990/91 and a signed copy of the iconic photo of Sir Geoff Hurst completing his hat trick in the 1966 World Cup Final.

All monies raised on the afternoon will go towards both a memorial bench in memory of Melvyn at Old Barn Way and the Martlets Hospice, Hove.