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Official: Steve Bruce Announced as Manager of Newcastle, but Not Without Controversy

Fact: Newcastle Finally Have a Manager

Sheffield Wednesday v Sheffield United - Sky Bet Championship - Hillsborough
Photo by Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images

Newcastle United have officially announced that Steve Bruce is the new manager of Newcastle United.

The appointment comes with less than 3 weeks before the season begins, which also means the appointment comes with less than 3 weeks left in the transfer window.

Bruce joins Newcastle as the club’s 36th manager, and will reportedly be the lowest paid Premier League manager making £1 million each season.

Bruce joins Newcastle after a very successful, albeit somewhat controversial, 6 month stint with Sheffield Wednesday in which he only amassed 4 losses. Bruce has been credited with turning around the team’s season as they went from being near the bottom of the table to finishing 12th in the Championship.

Bruce joined Wednesday after being fired from Aston Villa in October of last season after a disappointing start to the season that ended with him getting a cabbage thrown at him by a fan. Bruce was considered a disappointment at Villa, as he failed to gain promotion with the team after 2 seasons in charge, once leading them to a playoff final who they lost to Akleksander Mitrovic and Fulham. Villa, after Bruce’s firing would go on to secure promotion to the Premier League, and have consequently spent upwards of £70 million this window to try to secure Premier League safety.

Steve Bruce famously is a sub-par Premier League manager with a losing record of 110 Wins, 109 draws, and 173 losses. Bruce has led his Premier League sides to mid-table finishes, one relegation, and was of course fired from Sunderland after a start to the season that left them in 16th place.

Bruce’s biggest moment of his managerial career was finishing as the FA Cup runner up in 2013, securing a Europa league spot for 16th placed Hull City. Hull would go on to get relegated the very next season.

Hull City v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Play Off Final
Steve coached his son Alex while they both were in the Championship with Hull City
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Bruce is not an ambitious hire to say the least, which is what is so upsetting to most Newcastle fans. Bruce embodies the mediocrity that is the Mike Ashley regime, as Bruce is a guy who seems content with not chasing success. Most fans see this as an expected disappointment under the Ashley regime. However, there are a few fans and journalists who are somehow praising this hire. The most notable of these individuals praising the hire is Luke Edwards of the Telegraph, who has maintained the position that Steve Bruce is a good manager since the former Wednesday manager was linked to the club.

The controversy over the Steve Bruce hire does not end with Newcastle fans and journalists, it has of course made its way to Bruce’s former club Sheffield Wednesday.

Wednesday supporters were obviously upset that Bruce was set to leave the club after spending only 6 months at the club. Additionally, the club and its supporters have shown Bruce an exorbitant amount of respect, and have treated him with an ornate amount of kindness during his time there.

As previously mentioned in our first piece covering the Bruce managerial talks, Bruce was allowed to manage the club a whole month later than he signed on to due to personal reasons. Bruce was also given free reign over the club’s transfers and academy so that he could build Sheffield Wednesday into a Premier League quality side.

This resulted in a lot of investment from the club, who saw Bruce as their manager of the future. The club’s attitude towards Bruce, led to a standoff with Newcastle as the club (rightfully so) wanted more compensation for losing their manager 3 weeks before the season began.

Multiple reports began to surface early this week that the price had been met for Steve Bruce, he had resigned from Sheffield Wednesday, and that his appointment was “imminent”.

This news upset many Wednesday fans, as they found themselves potentially without a manger entering the grueling Championship season. Additionally, the man they thought was going to lead them to glory deserted them with minimal time to find a replacement before the season began, which of course pissed them off even more. Wednesday fans were seemingly shocked that a manager as disliked as Steve Bruce would essentially lie to the fans and the club about his commitment to Sheffield Wednesday.

When the announcement was made official by Newcastle, Sheffield Wednesday also released a statement of their own stating that Newcastle had illegally obtained Steve Bruce.

The statement reads as follows:

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 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.”

Wednesday appear ready to take Mike Ashley to court over this matter, which is likely rooted in the reported disagreement over compensation to be paid to Wednesday for the services of Steve Bruce.

It surprises literally NOBODY that Mike Ashley has done something immoral for his own gain. It is another Mike Ashley decision, in a long history of Mike Ashley decisions that has plagued the club, and effectively made us one of the laughing stocks of the Premier League.

Of course, I, Elijah Newsome, will reserve judgement on Steve Bruce until I have seen him manage a few Newcastle matches. It appears as if the club is going to provide him with some funds to play around with as the window draws nearer and nearer to its end. In an ideal world Newcastle avoid relegation, which is entirely possible under Bruce. However, things could get really ugly real quick, and Newcastle may find themselves in the Championship once more.