Speaking on The Athletic’s YouTube channel, David Ornstein has suggested that decision makers on Tyneside believe Steve Bruce is ‘here to stay’.
What’s the story?
While talking to Chris Waugh about the current state of the club, Ornstein revealed that his information indicated that the under-fire Newcastle boss wasn’t going anywhere despite reports of a falling out between him and Matt Ritchie, as well as their miserable form.
“I’ve even received some indications that the view at the top of Newcastle is that Steve Bruce is here to stay and the players need to get their act together”, he said from the 2:43 mark.
“That may well even continue into the Championship if Newcastle are relegated.
“Mike Ashley does not want to get rid of Steve Bruce.”
Is it much of a surprise?
Yes and no.
Mike Ashley has previously been reluctant to sack managers but was prepared to relieve Steve McClaren of his duties in 2016 with the team facing relegation, though this season is obviously an unprecedented situation for all involved. Indeed, there has rarely seemed to be much pressure on him from above, despite being a largely unpopular figure amongst supporters.
There is also the fact he could be in line for a six-figure pay-off should he be sacked to consider.
Newcastle do have a platform to stay up which, as Bruce said himself, would fulfill his remit. With 27 points and games against Brighton and Burnley on the horizon, there is at least a chance.
Clearly, that doesn’t mean he’s a perfect long-term option for the club (far from it, given what we’ve seen this season) but, in Ashley’s mind, it is probably of little surprise that he is not under huge pressure. Given the money involved too, it’s easy to see Ashley’s thinking, even if that isn’t shared by swathes of the support.
Sadly for Newcastle fans who want him out, the Steve Bruce show looks likely to go on.