The Chronicle report that Steve Bruce will definitely be in the dugout for Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa – although he’s not received any assurances over his future.
That said, there’s a few key lines from Lee Ryder’s piece that perhaps explain why Mike Ashley is so reluctant to pull the trigger.
Firstly, it’s claimed that does not, ‘deep down’, want to sack a manager who has caused him ‘no political issues’ over the past 18 months, with the other potential issue being the fact he’d have to pay a ‘seven-figure sum’ to Steve Bruce and his coaching team if he was given the boot.
That fee isn’t revealed in this piece, however The Chronicle did reveal earlier this week that Bruce would be due a payout of around £1.5m should he be dismissed.
No matter what he thinks of Steve Bruce on a personal level, it feels like he is carelessly playing roulette with our Premier League status and the value of his £300-£340m asset in delaying the inevitable.
With Aston Villa, Leeds and Everton coming up next, I can’t see us picking up more than a point in our next three games – meanwhile the likes of third bottom Fulham have winnable games against Brighton and West Brom on the horizon.
The Chronicle state there is a ‘fear behind the scenes that should the club drop into the Championship they may not be as fortunate to bounce back at the first time of asking like 2010 and 2017’. They’d be right to have such concerns, yet here we are giving Bruce another week or two to turn it around.
With no wins in our last nine and the players looking lost, it feels like the longer Ashley leaves Bruce in charge, the more chance we have of going down. Has he not learned from his McClaren mistakes?
We know Mike Ashley has little care for our club and the wishes of us fans, but you’d like the think he’d act a little quicker with so much more on the line this time around.