Newcastle takeover: Steve Bruce to be given time to prove himself as manager

Max Allegri, Mauricio Pochettino and Rafa Benitez among names linked with replacing Bruce

Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United looks on prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley FC at St. James Park on February 29, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
Image: Steve Bruce will be given time to prove his worth at Newcastle

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is set to be given until the end of the season at least to prove he is the right manager to guide the club to European football.

The Premier League is in the process of ratifying a proposed £300m takeover of the club by Amanda Staveley's Saudi-backed consortium, which includes Saudi's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Max Allegri, Mauricio Pochettino and former Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez are among a number of leading names touted as potential replacements for Bruce once the takeover passes the relevant mandatory checks in the coming weeks.

However, those involved in the takeover have not approached a potential new manager and feel Bruce should be given at least until the end of the season to stake his claim.

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Sky Sports News' north-east reporter Keith Downie discusses whether Rafael Benitez could return to Newcastle if Amanda Staveley's Saudi-backed consortium complete their takeover

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the head of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), will take over as chairman of Newcastle, with PCP Capital Partners, in particular Staveley, involved in the day-to-day running of the club.

Al-Rumayyan's targets are for Newcastle to win trophies and qualify regularly for Europe.

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Former Newcastle defender Ryan Taylor thinks Newcastle will be capable of challenging for honours if the prospective new owners are willing to invest

However, within the organisation there is a realisation that Financial Fair Play rules will curb the desire to land a host of landmark multi-million-pound signings.

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With all contractual issues between the two sides completed and the Owners' and Directors' test well underway at the Premier League, it is thought the takeover at St James' Park could be completed as early as the end of April.

Bruce, 59, has guided Newcastle to 13th in the Premier League table and a meeting with holders Manchester City in the FA Cup quarter-finals prior to the suspension of football due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Who is Amanda Staveley?

- Born in Ripon, Yorkshire in April 1973

- Married in 2011 to Iranian-born Mehrdad Ghodoussi. They have one child Lexi, born after Staveley went into labour during a business meeting

- The family have homes in Dubai and London's Park Lane

- She was spotted in the stands at St James' Park in October 2017 before Mike Ashley announced his intention to sell the club

- Staveley was credited with masterminding Sheikh Mansour's takeover of Man City from Thaksin Shinawatra in 2009

- Also in 2009, she was involved in a failed bid to take a controlling share in Liverpool, walking away when the Fenway Sports Group valued the club at £1bn

- She came close to purchasing Newcastle United in January 2018, through her finance vehicle PCP Capital Partners

'New owners will want to buy big'

Jamie Redknapp, speaking on The Football Show:

They will invest, they want to buy big players and take Newcastle back to where they should be again.

It's been tough times for Mike Ashley. He's not always been loved by the Newcastle fans and he's not always helped himself. This might be the best for both parties to separate and give some new owners an opportunity to get the club back on the straight and narrow, and for everybody to enjoy their football up there again because it's such a great place to play.

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Sky Sports News' north-east reporter Keith Downie discusses whether Newcastle will be able to attract top players if the proposed takeover is completed

A good Newcastle challenging for the top six is what we all want. More than anything it's trying to get a feel-good factor back again. When you go to watch Newcastle we spend half our time talking about the disconnect between the owner and the fans, and it's not ideal.

Football is hard enough as it is and right now there will be a bit of positivity about the club, once this goes through; hopefully, it gets done sooner rather than later.

'Top-six challenge won't be easy'

Jamie Carragher, speaking on The Football Show:

I've been talking about Mike Ashley for so long. I don't think he wanted to be there, and I don't think Newcastle supporters want him to be there.

The big problem the new owners will have is the same as every other club has had when they think they can challenge for the top four.

Newcastle United's Joelinton celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal of the game against Rochdale with manager Steve Bruce
Image: Jamie Carragher has backed the job done by Steve Bruce

I look at teams like West Ham and Everton who threw big money at it, thinking they could really challenge for the top six and even the top four.

However, it's very, very difficult and all of a sudden, before you know it, you are in big problems yourself financially because you are really trying to attack those top clubs.

It's going to be very difficult to get Newcastle back to where they belong in terms of challenging for a league title. I don't see that but in terms of maybe challenging for European places, trying to get into the top six, it's not easy.

The big thing for Newcastle is, the supporters had a manager they adored in Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley lost him, and they brought in Steve Bruce, who I think has done a brilliant job. But he's still not universally loved up there, for whatever reason.

The interesting thing now is whether that is one of the first decisions. You talk about buying and selling players but the most important person at a football club is a manager and I'd love Bruce to actually get the opportunity to show what he can do in terms of the transfer market.

But that will be the biggest decision these new owners have got to make. Do they stick with Steve Bruce? Or do they go and try to get Benitez back or another big-name manager? That's probably actually more important in the supporter's eyes than the players they bring in.

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