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After winning the League Two Championship and reportedly having one of the biggest budgets in the league,

Swindon Town were one of the favourites for promotion going into the 2012-13 season.

Paolo Di Canio celebrates Swindon Town's promotion to League 1 at Gillingham

Paolo Di Canio celebrates Swindon’s promotion to League 1 at Gillingham

The highly controversial Paolo Di Canio had his eyes firmly set on a second promotion, and made his intentions clear by signing Andy Williams, Gary Roberts and James Collins, players who were wanted by some Championship clubs.

The season started with an impressive 3-1 win over Championship side Brighton in the Capital One Cup that performance translated itself into the league, as Town started to sit comfortably inside the play-off spots.

The first signs of trouble surfaced in October 2012, when the club got slapped with a transfer embargo, and a week later, chairman Jeremy Wray left the club.

But on the pitch, the team showed a clear sign of their intent, by brushing aside Portsmouth 5-0 at home, this followed victory versus top of the table Tranmere Rovers by the same scoreline the previous week.

After a month, the embargo was lifted, but the new Chairman Sir William Patey told the fans there would be no money available for transfers.

Then the dreaded news came that turned out to be the beginning of the end for Paolo Di Canio at Swindon Town. In January 2013, owner Andrew Black announced his intention to sell Swindon Town. Its very hard to criticise Andrew Black after what he has done for Town, he ploughed millions into the club over his five years, which financed our return to League One under the eccentric and expensive Italian.

Then on February 1st, Di Canio admitted he’s “considering his future”, in response a campaign headed up by the Swindon Advertiser begins to try and persuade Di Canio to stay at Town.

But just a month after Andrew Black announced he was leaving Wiltshire, Paolo Di Canio resigned as manager of Swindon, citing the sale of Matt Ritchie behind his back and broken promises as his reasons for leaving.

Thankfully a few weeks later, a new consortium took control of the Robins, therefore saving the club from possible administration and points deduction. New Chairman Jed McCrory appointed Kevin McDonald as manager, and after a shaky start under his stewardship, Town finish inside the playoffs. Unfortunately, Swindon went onto lose their playoff semi-final against Brentford on penalties, after the tie finished 4-4 on aggregate.

Chairman Jed McCrory unveils new boss Kevin MacDonald at the County Ground

Chairman Jed McCrory unveils new boss Kevin MacDonald at the County Ground

Overall it’s been another crazy season at the County Ground, but ultimately a successful one. With budget cuts being necessary due to the previous board worked under a difference ownership, therefore spending money that is now no longer available.

To expect another campaign aiming for promotion might be a little unrealistic, but as I’ve learnt supporting Swindon, you need to expect the unexpected.

Post written by Dan Johnson
Blog: The League Two Glance, Twitter: @danjohnson_stfc

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