Steve Bruce leaves Hull City by mutual consent
By Jefferson Lake
Last Updated: 23/07/16 12:05am
Steve Bruce has left Hull City by mutual consent after four seasons in charge of the Premier League club.
Sky sources reported on Friday afternoon that Bruce had departed with immediate effect and Hull confirmed the news in a statement that evening.
The 55-year-old, who missed out to Sam Allardyce this week after interviewing for the England job, guided Hull to the Premier League for the second time last season.
However, Bruce was reportedly concerned about the lack of investment in new players this summer - a consequence of takeover talks, which have now been placed on hold so Hull can strengthen ahead of the new campaign.
The Hull statement read: "Following four incredible seasons with the Tigers, including two promotions and our first ever FA Cup final, we can confirm that manager Steve Bruce has left the Club by mutual consent.
"The Board of Directors would like to thank Steve for all his efforts since his appointment in 2012, culminating in a glorious day at Wembley in May which saw the Club bounce back into the Premier League (by winning the Championship play-off final).
"Steve has excelled in his role - both on and off the field - and will be remembered for being the most successful manager in our history to date.
"Steve wishes the club and the owners all the very best for the forthcoming Premier League season. Steve also wishes to place on record his thanks to the club's supporters for their unwavering support and also to all the players and staff who have worked with him during his time at the KCOM Stadium.
"Mike Phelan will step in to the role of caretaker manager until a permanent appointment is made for the upcoming campaign."
At the start of June Bruce was reported to have been considering his future, amid speculation the club could be the subject of a takeover bid.
Hull have been up for sale since 2014, after the Football Association rejected owner Assem Allam's application to change the club's name to Hull Tigers.
And Bruce also held talks with Football Association over the vacant England manager's job earlier this month and described it as the "prime job" for an English coach but the FA ultimately decided to appoint Allardyce.
Hull reached the 2014 FA Cup final under Bruce, losing an exciting match 3-2 to Arsenal, and the manager has guided them back into the Premier League for the 2016-17 season, thanks to their 1-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.
But Bruce has now departed, and Sky Sports News HQ reporter Tim Thornton said: "So close to the new season, it leaves Hull in a really difficult position given the fact that they have such a threadbare squad and so many injury problems.
"They do need to strengthen very, very quickly.
"On Wednesday, Assem Allam made the point he didn't want to bring players in who were Steve Bruce players if he was then going to have to replace Steve Bruce.
"There is a positive there because he has not brought Bruce's signings in and any money that is now invested in players will be for the new manager."
Some of Bruce's players have said farewell to their manager on social media, midfielder Tom Huddlestone writing on Twitter: "Never good to lose a manager, especially one who has signed you and done so well for the club. Wish him all the best for the future."
Jake Livermore posted a photograph of himself and Bruce on his Instagram account, with the message: "Great manager. Great man, will be missed. Thank you."
Bruce's son, Hull defender Alex, received farewell messages for his father from a host of well-wishers on his Twitter account and responded: "Thanks for all the nice messages, I'll pass them on."