Newcastle Boss is Dead Man Walking But Will Frank Lampard be Chosen to Spend the Saudi Millions?

© AP Photo / Carl Recine / Steve BruceNewcastle manager Steve Bruce
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.10.2021
The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund, took over struggling Newcastle United last week. The £305 million takeover has triggered complaints from some human rights groups and other English Premier League clubs.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce took charge of training at the club on Tuesday, 12 October, despite widespread speculation he is set to be fired by the club’s new Saudi owners.
Bruce, who was appointed by former owner Mike Ashley in July 2019, will reportedly be paid £8 million in compensation.
Newcastle are currently second from bottom in the Premier League and the new owners do not see Bruce as a man they can trust to spend a transfer budget, which could reach £300 million.
Bruce’s most disastrous signing has been Brazilian forward Joelinton, who was inked for £40 million in 2019 but has scored only six goals in 76 appearances.
If Bruce gets sacked in the next 24 hours it is expected that his assistant, Graeme Jones, will take charge for Sunday’s match against Tottenham while the hunt for a permanent manager is stepped up.
Few will mourn Bruce and social media is already full of jokes and memes at his expense.
Among the big names in the frame are former England midfielder Frank Lampard, who was fired by Chelsea in January, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers and Lucien Favre, who managed Borussia Dortmund as well as clubs in his native Switzerland.
Other names which have been touted are Graham Potter, who has impressed at Brighton, former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and ex-Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez, although he is currently under contract at Everton.
The Saudis are clearly hoping to transform Newcastle with their money in the same way that Sheikh Mansour and his Abu Dhabi United Group did when they took over Manchester City in 2008.
City have won the Premier League title five times, made it to the final of the Champions’ League this year, and splashed out a record fee of £100 million on England midfielder Jack Grealish in the summer.
Amanda Staveley, the City power-broker who forced through the Newcastle deal after more than a year of haggling and red tape, said last week: "Of course I want to win the Premier League. At some point, of course, we want trophies. The last time the club won a trophy was 1955. But this is a long term project and it will take some patient capital."
Staveley said she wanted to bring in new players but also said they needed to boost the club’s academy and improve its youth scouting network.
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