• Wednesday are threatening legal action after he walked out on them.
• Bruce becomes the 10th manager of Ashley’s controversial reign
Steve Bruce was appointed Newcastle United manager yesterday despite being 11th choice and not even on Newcastle’s original shortlist.
Bruce glossed over that in his first interview with the club, saying: “I’m delighted and incredibly proud to be appointed as head coach of Newcastle United. This is my boyhood club and it was my dad’s club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.”
“There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but it’s one that my staff and I are ready for. We’ll roll our sleeves up and we’ll be giving it everything from the off to ensure supporters have a successful team that they can be proud of.”
Bruce’s long-term assistants, Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, have followed him to St James’ Park after they also left Hillsborough.
Newcastle’s announcement of the news was also the first Wednesday had heard of the appointment and stated that there were still legal issues to sort out.
In a statement, Wednesday said: “The club is disappointed to learn via public statement issued by Newcastle United that it has appointed former Sheffield Wednesday staff Steve Bruce, Steve Agnew and Steve Clemence.”
“Regardless of the fact that the staff resigned from their positions with the club on Monday, there remains outstanding legal issues to be resolved between the club and the staff and Newcastle United. The club is currently considering its position and taking the appropriate legal advice.”
“No further comment will be made by the club concerning this matter.”
STEVE BRUCE CV
Sheffield United (1998-99)
Crystal Palace (2001)
Aston Villa (2016-2018)
Sheffield Wednesday (2019)
Newcastle confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that Bruce and his staff were expected to meet the squad after the Premier League Asia Trophy match against Wolves in Nanjing.
Bruce’s arrival is unlikely to appease fans who were left angry by the departure of former manager Rafa Benitez. Benitez walked after three years when the club failed to agree a contract extension with the 59-year-old Spaniard, who has since taken over at Chinese club Dalian Yifang.
However, managing director Lee Charnley said he was delighted to have got his man after lengthy negotiations with the Owls over a compensation package.
Charnley said: “Steve has a deep affection for Newcastle and we are very pleased a coach with his vast experience and connections to the club and city has joined us.”
“Steve knows what this club means to supporters and to the region and he will put his heart and soul into leading our talented group of players with the full support of our staff.”
“The hard work for Steve and his team starts immediately and we will be fully prepared for the challenge of a new Premier League season.”
Bruce becomes the 10th manager of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s controversial reign and supporters reacted angrily to his appointment on Wednesday.
One supporter on Twitter said he and his son would no longer be renewing their season tickets. Other tweeted their surprise at the news and what they thought it meant for the future of their club.
Allan Simm wrote: “I can announce that me and my son won’t be renewing our season tickets. Enjoy trying to avoid relegation, don’t care whether or not you succeed, it’s not success, you’re no longer a football club.”
Another added: “Three-year deal? Really? Ashley staying for a while yet then, unsurprisingly.”
“God Almighty. It’s actually happened,” added another.