Speaking on the Transfer Window Podcast, Duncan Castles has given an update on Steve Bruce and his future at Newcastle United.
It’s been widely reported that Bruce will not be in charge of the Magpies for much longer. The Tyneside outfit have new owners and new expectations, therefore, Bruce is no longer needed.
However, here we are a week on from the takeover being confirmed and Bruce is still in a job.
Why is this? Well, Castles says that it’s down to the unusual contract Bruce has with the club and the payoff he’s entitled to.
What’s been said?
Castles shared what he knows about Bruce’s situation.
“They feel that Steve Bruce wants out and he’s open to coming to an agreement with his severance that would allow them to change coach. However, there is a problem here,” Castles said.
“It is a problem that is derived from the way Ashley hired Bruce. He put him on a very unusual contract structure. It was described as an initial three-year contract, but it is actually a rolling contract where he remains in place, essentially indefinitely, until he is paid off by the club. This allowed Ashley to pay Bruce a relatively low salary for a Premier League manager, but in the contract there was a recission clause that meant that if Bruce was sacked, he was entitled to a compensation payment of around £8m. Ashley did this with the expectation of the club being sold. Therefore, he effectively allowed himself to hire a cheap manager with the cost of the contract being laid off to the next owners of the club.”
“They need to try and come to an agreement with Bruce on that compensation, and try to negotiate that down.”
Pay the money
If Bruce is going to depart the club, then the new owners should just pay up.
Yes, £8m is a lot of money, especially to sack a manager, but that’s a drop in the ocean when you consider just how rich these new owners are.
Of course, FFP is a factor and Newcastle will want to keep costs down, but keeping Bruce for a prolonged period could be far more damaging than an £8m loss.
As much as it will sting, the Magpies simply have to pay up here.