Newcastle appoint Steve Bruce as new manager

Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce

Newcastle have appointed Steve Bruce as Rafael Benitez's replacement after their search for a new manager finally came to a close.

The Magpies have confirmed that the 58-year-old Geordie has left his job at Sheffield Wednesday to become the 10th permanent boss of controversial owner Mike Ashley's 12-year-plus reign and has signed a three-year deal.

A club statement said: "Newcastle United can now announce that Steve Bruce has been appointed as the club's new head coach.

"The 58-year-old, who was born in Corbridge, Northumberland and raised in Wallsend, returns to Tyneside after signing an initial three-year contract and will be joined at St James' Park by coaches Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence."

Bruce and his staff are due to fly out to China to meet up with the players, who open their Premier League Asia Trophy campaign against Wolves in Nanjing on Wednesday morning.

The new head coach said: "I'm delighted and incredibly proud to be appointed as head coach of Newcastle United.

"This is my boyhood club and it was my dad's club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.

"There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but it's one that my staff and I are ready for.

"We'll roll our sleeves up and we'll be giving it everything from the off to ensure supporters have a successful team that they can be proud of."

Opinion: Steve Bruce one of many Newcastle issues

Bruce's arrival is unlikely to placate fans still fuming at Benitez's exit a little more than three years after the club failed to agree a contract extension with the 59-year-old Spaniard, who has since taken over at Chinese club Dalian Yifang.

However, managing director Lee Charnley was delighted to have got his man after lengthy negotiations with the Owls over a compensation package.

Charnley said: "Steve has a deep affection for Newcastle United and we are very pleased that a coach with his vast experience and connections to the club and city has joined us.

"Steve knows what this club means to supporters and to the region and he will put his heart and soul into leading our talented group of players with the full support of our staff.

"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."


Steve Bruce 2019/20 specials (via Sky Bet)

  • Newcastle to finish in the top half - Price Boosted to 4/1
  • To win his first three Premier League fixtures as Newcastle boss (Wolves, Arsenal and Norwich) - 150/1
  • Not to be Newcastle manager on Christmas Day - 3/1
  • Newcastle to be relegated and Sheffield Wednesday to be promoted - 28/1

Click here to see the list in full

*Odds correct as of 1045 BST on 17/07/19


Previous Magpies managers during Ashley's reign

Rafa Benitez arrives at St James' Park ahead of Newcastle v Chelsea
Rafa Benitez proved popular on Tyneside

Steve Bruce has become the 10th manager of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's controversial reign after leaving Sheffield Wednesday to take charge of the club he supported as a boy.

Here, PA takes a look at the men who have occupied a hot-seat which brings unique challenges and how well they have fared.

Sam Allardyce

Allardyce was the man in post when Ashley launched his takeover in May 2007 having been appointed by Magpies chairman Freddy Shepherd just days earlier. He had not been a popular choice to start with and as attendances started to drop amid complaints over the football on offer, he lasted just 24 games, only eight of which had resulted in victory, and lost his job in January 2008.

Kevin Keegan

The Toon Army dared to believe once again when Ashley handed Keegan a return to St James' Park, prompting hopes of a return to the thrills he had brought to Tyneside during his first spell as manager. However, Keegan's squad rebuilding plans were thwarted by Ashley's refusal to back them financially with Dennis Wise having been imposed upon him as executive director (football), and the former England manager walked out in September 2008. He later successfully fought a claim for constructive dismissal.

Joe Kinnear

If Newcastle fans were angry at Keegan's treatment, they were astonished to see Kinnear handed the reins in his wake. He announced himself with a foul-mouthed rant at journalists, but lasted just 20 games, winning four, before having to undergo heart surgery. He would return to even greater consternation for an ill-fated spell as director of football in 2013.

Alan Shearer

Newcastle's record goalscorer was drafted in at the end of the 2008-09 season in an ultimately vain attempt to drag the club out of relegation trouble. Nevertheless, Ashley appeared impressed with the former England skipper and the pair held detailed talks over the way forward. Shearer is still awaiting an answer.

Chris Hughton

Hughton had stepped into the breach as caretaker either side of Kinnear's tenure and it was he to that the Sports Direct magnate turned once again during the summer of 2009. Against all the odds, the former Tottenham and Republic of Ireland defender circled the wagons and guided the club back into the Premier League as champions, only to lose his job in December 2010.

Alan Pardew

Instantly dismissed as just another member of the so-called "Cockney Mafia", Pardew was another left-field appointment who never won over large sections of the fanbase despite leading the club to a fifth-placed finish at the end of the 2011-12 campaign and their only season of European football under Ashley. He departed for Crystal Palace in December 2014, having won 71 and drawn 41 of his 185 games at the helm.

John Carver

Pardew's number two, Carver landed his dream job when he was asked to take over, but the Geordie, who had worked under Sir Bobby Robson during his time as Newcastle boss, found the going tough. In all, he presided over 20 games, 19 of them in the league, and a 2-0 win over West Ham on the final day of the 2014-15 season kept them up, but proved to be his swansong.

Steve McClaren

As with so many of his predecessors, McClaren's appointment was not met with universal acclaim, and things went downhill from there. The new manager had little or no say over a summer recruitment drive which left holes in the squad and although he was allowed to invest heavily in January 2016 to bring in Jonjo Shelvey, Andros Townsend and Henri Saivet, the club was hurtling out of the division by the time he was handed his cards two months later.

Rafael Benitez

Ashley sprang something of a surprise in March 2016 when he appointed Benitez as McClaren's replacement with 10 games remaining, and supporters were genuinely thrilled when the Spaniard agreed to stay on even after failing in his mission to keep the club in the top flight. The former Liverpool boss was given the freedom to rebuild the squad for a promotion charge and promptly delivered the Sky Bet Championship title followed by 10th and 13th-placed finishes despite tighter restrictions from above. However, he walked away in June this year having failed to gain assurances over the club's future direction.


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