The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards has issued a concerning update on the current situation at St James’ Park as confusion remains over the immediate future of Steve Bruce and his coaching staff.
Many expected the 60-year-old to be sacked on Monday when our new co-owners arrived at the training ground for face-to-face talks, but over 48 hours on he’s still in a job – despite widespread claims he would NOT be in charge for Sunday’s game with Spurs.
Now, Luke Edwards – a self-confessed friend of the NUFC boss – reports that the ‘mood has darkened’ around the Newcastle United camp due to the lack of clarity heading into the first game under new owners.
He reports that Bruce took training on Tuesday and Wednesday, yet uncertainty around the future of his coaching staff has ‘impacted morale’, also leaving the players ‘lacking focus’ and unsure of who’ll be in charge this weekend.
It’s claimed Bruce expected to hear back within 24 hours of Monday’s meeting, but ‘that call has not been made’ as the consortium are waiting for a final decision from Yasir Al-Rumayyan – the PIF governor and non-executive Chairman of Newcastle United expected to sign off big decisions made by the club.
Here’s a snippet from Edwards’ piece for The Telegraph:
Sources close to consortium members continue to insist that a change of manager will be made before the weekend, but the power lies with chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan and he will make that call, not those based in the UK.
It is understood there has been some confusion within Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as to why they would make a change in manager when they do not have a replacement lined up.
Bruce was thanked for keeping the club in the Premier League under difficult circumstances during the meeting on Monday and it is believed that was a message the Saudis were particularly keen to convey.
Although all the indicators up to this point have been that Bruce will lose his job it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he will be asked to stay on for the time being – at least until the new owners have found someone to replace him.
Hopefully this is just a tedious delay that’s sorted out for good on Thursday, not a sign the Saudis are planning to give Steve Bruce his ‘1000th game’ this weekend before a long-term replacement is appointed.
With us 19th in the table, in need of our first win of the season and eager to celebrate the dawn of a new era that doesn’t include Steve Bruce, it will be disappointing and potentially damaging if he’s in the dugout on Sunday.