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Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has left the club by mutual consent following the £300m Saudi-backed takeover of the club at the beginning of October.
Bruce, 60, instantly became the bookmakers' favourite for the sack as soon as Mike Ashley's reign at the club ended and has now agreed to leave.
The Newcastle boss struggled to win fans over during his stint on Tyneside, despite being a boyhood fan of the club.
Bruce faced the impossible task of replacing much-loved Rafa Benitez at St. James' Park – but fans feel results have not been good enough with the club failing to win a game so far this season.
Multiple publications had reported the former Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday boss could receive a payout of around £8m had he been sacked, but that may now change given his exit was by mutual consent.
The £300m takeover of Newcastle means they are now among the richest clubs on the planet due to the backing of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which is said to have around £320bn in funds.
And the new owners want their own man in the dugout as they look to pull the north east club out of relegation danger.
Amanda Staveley, who brokered the deal and now owns 10 per cent of the club, refused to confirm whether Bruce would remain in charge for the long-run during her first post-takeover interview but he has now departed.
A club statement read: "Newcastle United can confirm that Steve Bruce has left his position as head coach by mutual consent.
"He leaves the Magpies after more than two years in charge, having steered the club to 13th and 12th-place finishes in the Premier League and reaching the quarter-final stage in both the Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup during his tenure.
"Newcastle United would like to place on record its gratitude to Steve for his contribution and wishes him well for the future."
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While Bruce himself 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."
Bruce had recently admitted he wanted to stay on as Toon boss despite growing criticism from supporters.
Though his exit has come days after the 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at St. James' Park, where fans again turned on him during the game.
The club added: "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."
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The vast majority of Newcastle fans will be delighted by the news after a recent poll confirmed a high percentage wanted Bruce to be dismissed.
Before the takeover, a snap survey of 5000 supporters found that 94 per cent of those asked wanted a change in manager.
As for who replaces Bruce, ex-Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre has been mentioned, along with Eddie Howe, Steven Gerrard, and Paulo Fonseca.
There has also been tentative speculation around the likes of Antonio Conte and Roberto Martinez.
- Newcastle United FC
- Steve Bruce
- Saudi Arabia
- Premier League
- Mike Ashley
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