• Monday, Dec 06, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:45 am

Bruce leaves as Newcastle boss after Saudi takeover

  • Published at 01:34 pm October 21st, 2021
Newcastle's outgoing manager Steve Bruce reacts during their EPL match at home to Tottenham Sunday Reuters

Paulo Fonseca was among a number of contenders for the job

Steve Bruce has left his position as Newcastle United manager by mutual consent, the Premier League team said in a statement Wednesday, two weeks after they were taken over by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium.

Bruce had appeared to be on borrowed time after the Premier League announced earlier this month that Newcastle had been sold to a consortium led by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

The 60-year old had said following the change of ownership that he would understand if he was replaced but he was allowed to take charge of the 1,000th match in his managerial career when Newcastle hosted Tottenham Hotspur in the league, losing 3-2 last Sunday.

The signs were ominous, however, with Newcastle's new director Amanda Staveley saying "change does not always happen overnight".

Newcastle said Bruce's assistant Graeme Jones will lead the team on an interim basis, starting with Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace, and will be supported by the coaching team of Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence, Ben Dawson and Simon Smith.

Sky Sports reported that former AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca, who was on the radar of Tottenham earlier this year, was among a number of contenders for the job.

Newcastle's defeat by Spurs, attended by Staveley and others on the board, spoiled the takeover celebrations at St James' Park, with fans also calling for Bruce to be sacked as Newcastle slipped to their fifth league loss of the campaign.

Bruce, who was appointed Newcastle manager in July 2019, was already on thin ice after a dismal start to the campaign that leaves the club languishing second-from-bottom in the league without a win after eight games.

Bruce, a lifelong Newcastle fan, was an unpopular choice for some supporters following his appointment after Spaniard Rafael Benitez left the club and said he was pained by the criticism and abuse he received.

He guided Newcastle to 13th and 12th-placed finishes in the league and helped them reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and the League Cup.

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