While a war of words rumbles on between the NUFC owner and the Premier League, Bruce believes the £300m deal is now ‘dead in the water’, saying it’s time to move on from takeovers and focus on football.
That said, he accepts it was a takeover that could’ve ‘taken the club to a different level’ and admits that Mike Ashley thought it was a ‘wonderful’ and ‘unique’ opportunity for the club – making the failed bid that bit harder to swallow.
Here’s what he’s had to say about it all, followed by what was said during Mike Ashley’s rare appearance on Tyneside on Wednesday:
“What is happening now, next or whatever, to be fair on Mike he only wants what’s best for the club.
“It’s a unique situation that could have taken the club to a different level. It doesn’t look as if it’s happened so it’s business as usual”
“Mike thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for the club to move forward if the takeover had happened. It was unique.
“But a new broom sweeps clean, I was wary of that. But I want what’s best for the club. It hasn’t happened so let’s get on with it.”
“The one thing a takeover does is it puts everyone into uncertainty which is never healthy.
“It would have been exciting for the club but it looks as if it’s dead in the water so it’s my job to get on with it.
“With our signings, I think we’re better now”
Some will STRONGLY contest Bruce’s claim that Ashley ‘only wants the best for the club’, however he was always going to back a man that’s just delivered a trio of quality signings this week.
On that subject, here’s what the gaffer had to say about his meeting with Ashley on Wednesday, revealing that he arrived to the Benton training base to meet the new players and show his support:
“The owner wanted to meet his new players. He comes up once in a while and takes us out for dinner.
“It was good to see him.
“He’s been fully supportive… if we needed evidence of that support, it’s come at the right time with what we’ve done in the last few days. We’ve had to beat off some big competition.
“Sometimes the manager needs a little bit of help and he’s flexed his muscles a little with transfers, which is great”
“We didn’t really talk about football beyond the players we’ve signed.
“We don’t have everyday dealings but it’s important for the relationship between a manager and CEO.
“There are arguments here & there, that’s normal, but I’m grateful for the support”
The failed takeover remains a bitter pill to swallow, but at least the arrival of proven Premier League players – along with Hayden signing a much needed new deal today – sees us head into the new season in more positive spirits than we could’ve ever expected a month ago.