According to the Times, a compensation clause of “more than £5m” exists in Steve Bruce’s contract at Sheffield Wednesday – meaning Mike Ashley will NOT be able to lure the 58-year-old to Tyneside on the cheap.
Considering it was initially reported that the compensation fee would be £1m and no problem for the club, this is quite an increase.
Oliver Kay’s piece for the Times also claims that the Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri is ‘preparing to play hardball’ over Bruce’s future, suggesting we face a fight on our hands to land Ashley’s alleged ‘no.1’ target.
The report does state that Bruce asked Sheffield Wednesday chiefs for permission to speak to Newcastle United last night, however any move will ultimately come down to our willingness to pay the £5m+ fee involved.
So, Ashley is either prepared to make a costly mistake and pay the over £5m for a Championship manager who won’t go down well at all with fans, or he may now be having second thoughts and turn his attentions elsewhere?
Here’s a snippet from the Times’ latest piece, suggesting Bruce’s potential appointment at St James’ Park is far from imminent:
‘Steve Bruce asked Sheffield Wednesday last night for permission to speak to Newcastle United about becoming their new manager.
‘Bruce asked Dejphon Chansiri, the Wednesday chairman and owner, to be allowed to discuss the vacant role at the club he supported as a boy but, as it stands, the Sky Bet Championship side are reluctant to grant him his wish.
‘Bruce is now Newcastle’s choice to succeed Rafa Benítez. The 58-year-old returned to management in February when he took over at Wednesday and it is understood that a compensation clause of more than £5 million was included in his contract.
‘Chansiri, the Thai businessman worth in excess of £500 million, is now preparing to play hardball over Bruce’s future.‘
Bruce is clearly desperate to become the new Newcastle United boss, return to top flight football and manage his boyhood club, but will Mike Ashley share his enthusiasm for a deal if the fee involved is in excess of £5m?
Considering a compensation cost of £1m was initially reported, let’s hope our money-man Mike may be having second thoughts.