United Kingdom - Newcastle
risked stoking the anger of their frustrated fans by hiring former
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce as their head coach on Wednesday.
Bruce has agreed a three-year contract with the Premier League club,
but his appointment to succeed Rafael Benitez wasn't met with universal
approval by Newcastle supporters.
"Newcastle United can now announce that Steve Bruce has been
appointed as the club's new head coach," the club said on their official
Former Manchester United defender Bruce, who resigned from
Championship side Sheffield Wednesday prior to joining Newcastle, said:
"I'm delighted and incredibly proud to be appointed as head coach of
"This is my boyhood club and it was my dad's club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family."
The 58-year-old might be a local boy after growing up on Tyneside,
but his two-year spell as coach of Newcastle's fierce rivals Sunderland
and a mediocre record as a Premier League manager are major black marks
for an already angry fan base.
Some Newcastle supporters are furious that controversial Newcastle
owner Mike Ashley failed to keep the popular Benitez at St James' Park
after more than three years with the club.
Benitez was recently appointed manager of Chinese Super League club
Dalian Yifang and said he left at the end of the season because his
Newcastle vision was not shared with "those at the top of the club".
Ashley has been criticised for failing to back his previous managers
in the transfer market, while former England boss Sam Allardyce
reportedly turned down the chance to return for a second spell as
Newcastle manager following Benitez's exit.
Manchester City assistant
Mikel Arteta had also been linked with the job, as were former
Manchester United boss David Moyes and Belgium manager Roberto Martinez.
But Lee Charnley, managing director at Newcastle United, said the
club was pleased to appoint a coach of Bruce's "vast experience and
"The hard work for Steve and his team starts immediately and we will
be fully prepared for the challenge of a new Premier League season," he
Bruce is no stranger to bridging the divide between rival clubs,
having previous managed Sheffield United and their rivals Wednesday, as
well as Birmingham and their hated neighbours Aston Villa.
Bruce, who has won four promotions from the second-tier of English
football, has suffered relegation from the Premier League twice, in
2005/06 with Birmingham and 2014/15 with Hull.
His highest finish in the top-flight was 10th, with Birmingham in 2003/04 and Sunderland in 2010/11.
But Bruce has his work cut out at Newcastle, who have already lost
their leading forwards from last season - Salomon Rondon and Ayoze
Perez - and are the only top-flight club yet to make a signing since
the end of last term.
The Premier League transfer window closes in less than a month,
adding to the pressure on Bruce as he tries to win over disillusioned
fans amid calls for a boycott of St James' Park until Ashley sells the
The Newcastle squad are currently on a pre-season tour in China and
Bruce and his staff are scheduled to travel to join them there following
Wednesday’s match in Nanjing against Wolves.