Paolo di Canio admits he offered his resignation to Sunderland over the political storm his appointment created.
Di Canio blames David Miliband for the furore.
Di Canio, 44, said: “I’m still surprised at the fuss about me being appointed by Sunderland.
“There was some debate when I got the Swindon job in 2011 but then everything died down.
“I thought certain arguments had been overcome but instead they got blown up into a political case.
“It was obvious that things were being exploited. The Labour MP David Miliband had announced a month before that he was going to the United States.
“But by linking his resignation from the club’s board to my arrival, he got people talking about him once more.
“I told Sunderland’s directors: ‘If I’m going to be a problem for you, I’ll quit’. But their answer was: ‘Stay here, we have faith in you’."