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Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has a clause in his current contract that could save his job after Mike Ashley sells the club, according to reports. A Saudi Arabia-backed takeover could go through by the end of the week, ending Ashley’s 14-year tenure at the helm.
A consortium backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is close to completing a £300million deal to buy Newcastle.
On Wednesday, reports revealed that the Gulf state had settled a legal dispute with Qatar-based broadcaster BeIN Sports – the Premier League TV rights owner in the Middle East.
Subsequently, the Premier League is set to give the takeover the green light without an arbitration hearing.
Magpies supporters expect change under new ownership, but Bruce’s role as manager could be initially safe.
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According to the Independent, Newcastle would have to pay Bruce in excess of £6m to terminate his contract.
Once ownership changes hands at St. James’ Park, his job may be under significant threat, but the clause will offer him hope of at least sticking around for the rest of the season.
Many fans are desperate for Bruce to leave after a dismal start to the season – both in performances and results.
But Bruce has sent a defiant message over his future, insisting he won’t quit the task at hand because of fan distress and that he’d only leave Newcastle if the club sacked him.
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He said: “It’s not all about me. I’m only here to only do what is best for the club, to keep us moving along, and it’s for other people to answer that.
“I will continue to do my best. I’m never going to walk away from the challenge. That’s for sure.
“I think we have played well, performances have been decent, but we need to win a couple of matches and let the noise quieten down.
“100 per cent I am not going anywhere. I am not going to walk away from it. I have quit before to get another job, but not now just because it is a bit noisy.”
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There has been unrest at Newcastle for a considerable amount of time, with fans unhappy at the lack of progress the club has made in recent years.
Zero wins in their first eight games of the season has done little to allay their concerns.
Bruce’s side are languishing in 19th in the Premier League on three points as one of four clubs without a victory.
The Magpies were also dumped out of the Carabao Cup at the first hurdle, losing to fellow league strugglers Burnley at St. James’ Park.
There is however renewed hope among fans now, with Newcastle supporters expecting their prospective owners to bring about change and invest heavily in new players after finally seeing their year-long pursuit of the club get the green light.
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