Steve Bruce: Newcastle manager sacked following Saudi takeover

Newcastle United have confirmed that Steve Bruce has left the club by “mutual consent”, drawing an end to the protracted saga over the head coach’s future.

A change of manager had been considered inevitable ever since the £305m Saudi-backed takeover of the club was completed, with Bruce mocked by home supporters during Newcastle’s 3-2 defeat by Tottenham last weekend.

The 60-year-old had kept Newcastle in the Premier League for two seasons but much of his tenure has been mired in hostility, owing to his relationship with former owner Mike Ashley and a cautious playing style, with divisions deepening in recent weeks. He will be due around £6m in compensation and leaves Newcastle 19th in the table without a win this season.

Graeme Jones, Bruce’s assistant, will take charge of the club on a temporary basis until a new manager is appointed, with Newcastle facing Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. Paulo Fonseca, Lucien Favre, Eddie Howe and Steven Gerrard are currently considered leading candidates to take over at St James’s Park.

In a statement confirming his departure, Bruce said: “I am grateful to everyone connected with Newcastle United for the opportunity to manage this unique football club.

“I would like to thank my coaching team, the players and the support staff in particular for all their hard work. There have been highs and lows, but they have given everything even in difficult moments and should be proud of their efforts.

“This is a club with incredible support, and I hope the new owners can take it forward to where we all want it to be. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the rest of this season and beyond.”

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