Newcastle takeover: Big-name managerial appointment won't guarantee success, says Graeme Souness

Graeme Souness believes Steve Bruce should retain the reins as Newcastle manager if their proposed £300m takeover is completed

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. 1:28
Graeme Souness says Newcastle's prospective new owners are likely to want to bring in a bigger name to replace Steve Bruce, but with no guarantee of success

Graeme Souness has warned the appointment of a "bigger name" as Newcastle manager will not guarantee success at St James' Park.

Steve Bruce replaced Rafael Benitez as Newcastle manager in July 2019 and Souness claims he should remain in charge next season after doing a "fantastic" job since taking on the position.

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 Benitez are among a number of leading names touted as potential replacements for Bruce if the takeover passes the relevant mandatory checks in the coming weeks but, speaking on The Football Show, Souness claims Bruce should be given the chance to prove he is the right man to take the club foward.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan
Image: Yasir Al-Rumayyan is the man tabbed to become Newcastle's next chairman

The former Newcastle boss told Sky Sports: "I think if the takeover does happen, I think Steve Bruce should be [in the dugout]. I think they should give him a crack as he's done a fantastic job up there with limited resources under pressure all the time.

"I've been in that job and it's difficult. I think he's performed really well, but as is the way in football, new people coming in will want their own men and that will be right across the football club.

"Attracting the best players up to Newcastle will be difficult unless you pay them way beyond the going rate."
Graeme Souness

"They'll want to do things differently, and I would imagine they'll be wanting someone who's deemed to be a sexier name, a bigger name. Someone who's maybe done a bit more in the game. That doesn't guarantee them success.

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"As always, it will come down to what players they'll be able to attract there, and if they get a big budget to work with. I still think attracting the best players up to Newcastle will be difficult unless you pay them way beyond the going rate."

If Staveley's Saudi-backed consortium complete their takeover, 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.

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.

Carragher: Back Bruce in market or make a change

Max Allegri, Mauricio Pochettino and Rafa Benitez have been mentioned as potential replacements for Bruce
Image: Max Allegri, Mauricio Pochettino and Rafa Benitez are potential replacements

Jamie Carragher has compared the situation to when the Abu Dhabi United Group officially completed their takeover of Manchester City in September 2008, when the then-new owner Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan insisted manager Mark Hughes was a 'prime asset'.

But, speaking on The Football Show, the former Liverpool defender says a new manager will be "inevitable" as Newcastle look to show their heightened ambition.

Carragher told Sky Sports: "I think everyone in football, when something like this happens, feels like the guy who's already there should be given a crack of the whip. He's been under financial constraints with Ashley and I agree with Graeme, I think he's done a really good job in difficult circumstances.

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Sky Sports News' Keith Downie provides the latest on the progress of Newcastle's proposed takeover and says the deal is moving towards its 'final stages'.

"If you look back at Man City, I think new owners are very aware of not upsetting the apple cart and causing headlines by changing the manager straight away. Mark Hughes stayed in the job for around six months at Man City but it was inevitable at some stage it would change.

"I don't think I'm being unfair on Steve Bruce when I say it's inevitable a manager - maybe who's got a better CV or who's won the Champions League if this is how high Newcastle are thinking - will eventually come into that job.

"If you're the new owner, you're probably thinking would you give a man who's not universally loved by the fans - rightly or wrongly - £200m or £300m in that first summer or season, even if you weren't fully committed in that man going forward. You don't want to be changing seven or eight players each season.

"Yes, you don't want to see any manager go but as a supporter, you have to accept he may want to bring his own man in. If you think he's the right man, back him, but if not, make that change."

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