Newcastle face having to give manager Steve Bruce a substantial pay-off if he is sacked in the wake of the takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Newcastle’s controversial new owners have big ambitions and have already outlined a desire to ‘create a consistently successful team’ at St. James’ Park. That has naturally brought speculation about Bruce’s job security, with his side currently 19th in the Premier League table.
90min understands that the new owners are ready to implement a new management structure, which could also mean managing director Lee Charnley leaving the club as well as Bruce. The plan is for a new chief executive, sporting director and head coach.
Bruce was announced on a three-year deal when he was hired in 2019, but he refuted during the summer that his contract is due to expire at the end of this season. More recently, a report from The Times last month explained that his Magpies deal now runs to 2024 because it is bizarrely ‘automatically renewed and extended to its original length’ each year.
As such, the 60-year-old would be entitled to significant compensation if it is ended early. The latest from the Daily Telegraph suggests that figure is up to £8m.
But considering the level of investment that PIF are expected to plough into the club, that amount could be considered small fry for an investment fund estimated to be worth north of £300bn.
In terms of possible replacements, Gareth Southgate is a coveted name, while current assistant coach Graeme Jones, who worked with Southgate at Euro 2020, could get the job on an interim basis. Michael Carrick, who grew up locally, is another option but lacks managerial experience.
Jason Wilcox, a former Premier League title winner with Blackburn and current head of Manchester City’s academy, is a consideration to become the new sporting director.