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Steve Bruce at Newcastle warning – ‘Mechanism in place for that contract to be extended’ – Report

2 weeks ago
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Interesting latest view on Steve Bruce position on Sky Sports this Sunday morning.

The usually very reliable George Caulkin of The Athletic appearing to talk about Newcastle United and their head coach.

The appearance coming after Newcastle surely swept away any remaining relegation worries with that eventful 3-2 victory over West Ham.

The man from The Athletic’s reading of the Steve Bruce situation, is that we are very unlikely to see Mike Ashley sack Bruce between now and the 2021/22 season kicks off.

Indeed, George Caulkin sees instead every chance of Bruce’s contract actually being extended!

He points to the wording of when Steve Bruce was appointed, the official Newcastle United announcement (see below) declaring it was for ‘an initial three year contract’…with Caulkin seeing that as suggesting there is a ‘mechanism in place for that contract to be extended.’

The longstanding journalist covering NUFC, points out that Mike Ashley refused to sack Steve Bruce even when he was on a run of only two wins in 20 games, that included 13 defeats and five draws. The 3-0 defeat at Brighton just before the international break and instead of sacking Steve Bruce, Mike Ashley and his people put out the message through the media that there would be no change happening. That 20 game run had included 18 Premier League matches with only 11 points picked up.

Considering these next three games have produced seven points and finally put Newcastle in what looks relative safety unless something very surprising happened, like Fulham winning a few matches. Which they now need to just bridge the current nine points gap that has recently built up.

The bottom line is that as Newcastle fans, we all know that Mike Ashley only looks for two qualities in an ideal manager (or head coach), avoiding relegation and complete loyalty to Team Ashley.

Steve Bruce has certainly ticked that second box, with any number of embarrassing press conferences where he has been willing to toe the Mike Ashley line, no matter how ridiculous it has made him look.

Whilst the survival box has just been waiting for a couple of Newcastle wins, as Fulham have shown themselves to be almost as feeble as Sheffield United and West Brom, making it very difficult for anybody else to be in real danger of relegation.

I’m not expecting an eight year contracts that Mike Ashley put out for PR purposes back in the Alan Pardew days (in reality the length of contracts would have been pretty much irrelevant, as undoubtedly Ashley would have retained the option to sack and pay compensation for only a far smaller length of time).

However, I would now almost be amazed if Mike Ashley in these next five weeks before the season ends, doesn’t extend Steve Bruce’s contract beyond summer 2021, as well as those of the other Steves.

As George Caulkin said today (see below), Newcastle United aren’t ran like any other Premier League club and the usual logic never applies.

As fans have long said, with over £100m in net spend since he arrived, on top of the players he inherited, mere likely survival this season has seen Steve Bruce fall well below what should have been possible.

Indeed, these two wins that have almost certainly guaranteed survival AND a contract extension for Steve Bruce, pretty much sum up this season.

I reckon easily the majority of Newcastle fans see these wins over Burnley and West Ham having happened DESPITE Steve Bruce, not because of him. The tactics and performance at Burnley was woeful and Dubravka keeping Newcastle in the game, before ASM single-handedly won it. Whilst after West Ham gifted a two goal lead and a man advantage, fans bemused to see Steve Bruce go all out defence against 10 men and almost draw the game, or even worse.

George Caulkin of The Athletic speaking to Sky Sports about Steve Bruce and Newcastle United:

“The thing is, he [Steve Bruce] is under contract.

“One thing that is sometimes missed is that when Steve Bruce came here, he signed a contract, ‘an initial three year contract’ is how the club put it.

“So I think that means there is a mechanism in place for that contract to be extended.

“And yes, if they are not going to sack him when they were seventeenth in the table, when they were losing games, they were unable to win. Why would they then make that decision [to sack Steve Bruce] at the end of the season?

“I can’t see it.

“Newcastle is a really difficult club, really difficult moments, searching for meaning.

“It is up for sale, Ashley wants out, we know that.

“This takeover is kind of still lingering on.

“I don’t think Mike Ashley wants to make a change unless he absolutely has to, we have seen that this season.

“Newcastle do things differently, that’s the way they always do it.

“They don’t do things the logical way that most clubs would do, but if they weren’t going to make a change at the start of this year, why do it now?”

Newcastle United official announcement – 17 July 2019:

‘Newcastle United can now announce that Steve Bruce has been appointed as the club’s new head coach.

The 58-year-old, who was born in Corbridge, Northumberland and raised in Wallsend, returns to Tyneside after signing an initial three-year contract and will be joined at St. James’ Park by coaches Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence.

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.

“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.”

Lee Charnley, managing director at Newcastle United, 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.

“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.

“I would place on record my thanks to Ben Dawson, Neil Redfearn and our medical and support staff for the way in which they have worked together to oversee the start of our pre-season preparations.”

Bruce and his staff are scheduled to travel to China and will meet the squad following Wednesday’s Premier League Asia Trophy clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Ben Dawson and Neil Redfearn will continue to prepare the players for Wednesday’s game.

A former Wallsend Boys Club player, Bruce began a decorated professional career at Gillingham, where he carved out a reputation as a solid and determined centre-half with a favourable goalscoring record.

After a three-year spell at Norwich City, which included winning the League Cup, he moved to Manchester United, where he would go on to lift three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup, as well as a further League Cup.

Bruce made 84 appearances for Birmingham City between 1996 and 1998, before a career in the dugout got underway with a player-manager role at Sheffield United.

In a 21-year coaching career since, Bruce has taken charge of a further eight clubs and has clocked up more than 900 competitive matches.’

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