The Spaniard ensured he had a written clause in his Magpies deal that meant that the club could not sign players over his head. Bruce, however, isn’t thought to benefit from that same understanding.
“If you are asking me if there’s a clause in his contract that means he has the power to block any signings coming in, I’d say no,” Ryder wrote in a Chronicle Q & A [23/10; 12:46]. “Bruce’s brief when appointed was to work with the head of recruitment, Steve Nickson and Paul Baker and Mick Tait, who he knows well.
“I think if he was dead set against a signing they’d have to listen to him, but I think he is keen to work with the board because he has wanted this job so much. They have to listen to his request but even Rafa Benitez didn’t get everything he wanted. The clause only stopped him getting players he didn’t want.”
This is interesting. We all know that Benitez is somebody who craves autonomy at a football club, so he would naturally resent somebody being signed who he didn’t want to bring in. Therefore he made sure he had written safeguards against that in his Newcastle contract. However, he is a hugely high profile coach who Newcastle did extremely well to recruit in the first place. That meant that he was able to secure big wages and clauses of this kind. Bruce, though, didn’t have the same sort of clout to make demands like this one. He obviously took what he could get because he wanted the Magpies job so badly. That means, though, that the Newcastle power brokers could, in theory, sign somebody he’s never heard of without consulting him. You’d hope that that wouldn’t happen, although Xisco is a name that springs worryingly to mind in that regard. Still, Bruce is likely going to agree with most potential Newcastle signings simply because he’s so pleased to be there.