Newcastle appoint Steve Bruce as manager to succeed Rafael Benítez
Steve Bruce has been confirmed as the manager of Newcastle United, though the club and his former employers, Sheffield Wednesday, are locked in a legal dispute regarding compensation.
After Bruce was announced by Newcastle on a three-year contract, Wednesday expressed disappointment at the move because of “outstanding legal issues” and stated that they were consulting lawyers. It is understood no agreement has been reached over a financial settlement for the 58-year-old, who resigned from the Championship club on Monday.
A statement from Sheffield 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 Stephen Clemence. Regardless of the fact that the staff resigned from their positions, 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.”
Bruce, who replaces Rafael Benítez, has been told he can buy players, yet the level of finance Mike Ashley affords may be modest given the owner’s track record. There have been no additions in the current transfer window, during which Joselu’s £2.5m move to Alavés this week has left Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto as the club’s only frontline strikers. This month Ayoze Pérez was also sold to Leicester for £30m and Mohamed Diamé left on a free. Salomón Rondón is no longer at the club after his loan from West Brom expired.
Bruce also faces resistance from fans underwhelmed at him succeeding Benítez and taking his first Premier League post since since he took Hull City down to the Championship and then back up again four years ago.
Bruce said: “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. 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.”
Lee Charnley, Newcastle’s managing director, said: “Steve has a deep affection for Newcastle United and we are very pleased that 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.”