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18th Oct 2021

Gary Neville slams Newcastle’s handling of Steve Bruce

Daniel Brown

“I think this thing now with Steve Bruce is totally wrong”

Gary Neville has criticised Newcastle United’s handling of Steve Bruce following the Saudi-backed takeover.

After the Premier League confirmed that Newcastle had been sold, with a Saudi-backed consortium replacing Mike Ashley as the club’s owners, many speculated that the new owners’ first action would be to sack manager Bruce.

However, the 60-year-old remains in his position, and took charge of his 1,000th game as a manger when the Magpies were beaten 3-2 by Spurs on Sunday.

During the game, shouts of ‘sacked in the morning’ could be heard, but Neville has defended Bruce and criticised the handling of his situation by the Public Investment Fund.

Speaking on Monday Night Football, Neville, who played alongside Bruce in his early years as a Manchester United player, said: “I was sacked as a manger, it happens, I’ve sacked managers, it’s an inhuman thing to do, it’s not a nice thing to do but you do it, you pay them up, you know they’re in a difficult job, they respect you for that and you respect them for it and it’s a really difficult thing to do.

“I think this thing now with Steve Bruce is totally wrong.

“Honestly, if this was any other industry, if this was any other walk of life, it would be classed as employment abuse.

“The employer would be in serious trouble with their employer, they absolutely would, they would be absolutely in big trouble.

“You’ve got to show and demonstrate decency, that’s not just these owners, it’s the one before who had him as the lamb to the slaughter and an umbrella for them to stop the rain coming on their heads, it didn’t in the end.”

The former United defender and Sky Sports pundit also stated that both the club and Bruce need clarity, suggesting that the Newcastle manager deserved to be treated with decency.

“Steve Bruce needs clarity, but think about that in your own walk of life, think about that if you’re a lawyer, or an accountant, or an electrician and you’re being treated like this,” said Neville.

“I’m not talking about the critisim from the Newcastle fans, I’m just talking about the ongoing situation, the leaks, the things that have happened in the last week, two weeks, four weeks, six weeks.

“It’s not fair on a brilliant man, a great football man, a great player and a manager whose had a 1,000 games, he deserves to be treated with decency.”

Neville also discussed the uncertainty around Bruce’s future.

He added: “Football managers get the crack, Steve Bruce will get the crack. If you’re gonna sack him, pay him up the full money, don’t resist it, do the right thing and move on.

“If you’re not gonna sack him, tell him and at least be clear about what you’re gonna do so at least the fans can start to have a go at you

“Stop using Steve bruce as what would be a shield for the criticism at that football club.”

Newcastle’s next fixture is an away tie against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

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