‘If it was any other walk of life, it would be classed as employment abuse’: Gary Neville slams Newcastle’s Saudi owners’ treatment of Steve Bruce following leaks about his future – accusing them of using boss as ‘shield’ for criticism of club
- The pressure increased on Steve Bruce following Newcastle’s defeat by Spurs
- Sportsmail understands the Saudi-led consortium plan to replace 60-year-old
- The likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Lucien Favre have been linked
- But Gary Neville has slammed the treatment of Bruce amid rumours of his future
Gary Neville has criticised Newcastle’s new Saudi owners of how they have handled the topic of Steve Bruce’s future, insisting in any other profession it would be classed as ’employment abuse’.
The pressure increased on the Magpies boss after Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at home by Tottenham in the club’s first game since a Saudi-led consortium led by Amanda Staveley completed a £305million takeover of the club earlier this month.
It had been expected Staveley and her consortium would sack Bruce before Sunday’s game, and Sportsmail understands he will be replaced in the near future.
Gary Neville (R) has criticised Newcastle’s new Saudi owners for their handling of Steve Bruce’s future
The pressure increased on Bruce following Newcastle’s defeat by Tottenham on Sunday
The prospect of an £8m pay-off is looming for Bruce with the club having openly flirted with a number of options including Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Lucien Favre.
But former Manchester United defender Neville has slammed the treatment of the 60-year-old current incumbent – who completed 1000 games as a manager on Sunday – claiming there has been a lack of ‘decency’ shown towards him.
‘This thing with Steve Bruce is totally wrong,’ Neville told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
‘If it was any other walk of life, it would be classed as employment abuse. Bruce needs clarity.
It had been expected Staveley and her consortium would sack Bruce before Sunday’s game
‘The leaks in the last week, two weeks, four weeks. Bruce deserves to be treated with decency. Stop using Steve Bruce as a shield for criticism as a football club.’
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was equally critical of the new ownership, insisting they have made a mess of the situation in the hot seat at St James’ Park, and insists their problems on the pitch will require ‘major work too’.
‘Steve Bruce has got a real problem. The ownership had a really poor week,’ Carragher said.
‘They messed up the managerial situation right away. An ownership should not be coming in and feeding journalists stories (about managers being sacked). It’s not been a great start for them.’
Steven Gerrard (left) and Frank Lampard (right) have been linked with the Magpies role
On Bruce’s men – who have yet to win a top-flight game this season and have collected just three points from eight games – Carragher added: ‘The new owners have got major work in keeping them up.
They’re one of the worst sides in the Premier League. They are in a massive fight and were really poor yesterday (against Spurs).
‘They’ve conceded more goals than anyone in the Premier League, this back four is a Championship back four – they’re not good enough for this level.
‘They’ve got really poor defenders and that’s a big problem for them. They need three or four defenders in January to stay up, there’s no doubt about that.’
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher also criticised the new owners’ handling of Bruce