Bruce quits Premier League's Newcastle

Steve Bruce has left his post at Newcastle after completing his 1000th game as an EPL manager.
Steve Bruce has left his post at Newcastle after completing his 1000th game as an EPL manager.

Steve Bruce has left his position as Newcastle United manager by mutual consent, just two weeks after the Premier League club was taken over by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium.

"#NUFC can confirm that Steve Bruce has left his position as head coach by mutual consent. The club would like to place on record its gratitude to Steve for his contribution and wishes him well for the future," the club said in a statement.

The Premier League announced this month Newcastle had been sold to a consortium led by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Bruce had said following the change of ownership he would understand if he was replaced but he was allowed to take charge of the 1,000th match in his managerial career when Newcastle hosted Tottenham Hotspur in the league, losing 3-2 on Sunday.

The signs were ominous, however, with the club's new director Amanda Staveley saying "change does not always happen overnight".

"I am grateful to everyone connected with Newcastle United for the opportunity to manage this unique football club," Bruce said in a club statement.

"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."

Newcastle said Graeme Jones will lead the team on an interim basis, starting with Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace, and will be supported by the coaching team of Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence, Ben Dawson and Simon Smith.

"The process of recruiting a new head coach is under way and an appointment will be announced in due course. The club will not be making further comment at this time," the club said.

Winless Newcastle are currently second-last in the 20-team top flight with just three points from eight matches.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Bruce admitted the job he vacated could be his last.

"I think this might be my last job. It's not just about me; it's taken its toll on my whole family because they are all Geordies and I can't ignore that.

"I'm 60 years old and I don't know if I want to put her through it again. We've got a good life so... this will probably be me done as a manager until I get a phone call from a chairman somewhere asking if I can give them a hand. Never say never, I've learnt that."

Bruce, a boyhood Newcastle fan, said the abuse directed at him by supporters was difficult to take.

"To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail, to read people constantly saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a stupid, tactically inept cabbage head... And it was from day one," Bruce added.

"When we were doing OK results wise, it was 'yeah but the style of football is rubbish' or I was just 'lucky.' It was ridiculous and persistent, even when the results were good."

Australian Associated Press