Steve Bruce has admitted he was under no illusions over his future had Newcastle been taken over this summer.
Amanda Staveley’s largely Saudi-backed bid for the club went to the Premier League, only for the plug to be pulled when they buyers could not provide the answers the governing body wanted to rubber-stamp their approach, and it emerged on Wednesday evening that it had been formally rejected.
Just what successful completion of that process would have meant for head coach Bruce – a series of potential successors were mentioned in dispatches – he may never know, but he has revealed he was preparing himself for the worst.
Bruce said: “A new brush always sweeps clean, so I was under no illusions of what might be coming.
“But it has happened. All I can do is move it on and say, ‘That chapter has gone’ – although whether it’s gone, I don’t know.
“There was nothing I could influence. But I always said, whatever is best for the club, I would go along with. If that meant a takeover and I wasn’t here, then I was always of that mindset.
“Once it was knocked on its head it was like, ‘Right, I have to get my head back on that we’re going back to work’. I had to work out how we could improve and go forward.”
Whatever may lie in the club’s longer-term future – current owner Mike Ashley is taking legal advice over the league’s stance – but he remains at the helm and Bruce is still in charge of team affairs.
That relationship has been cemented in the last few days by the arrivals of £20million Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, his out-of-contract team-mate Ryan Fraser and full-back Jamal Lewis, whose move from Norwich cost the Magpies £13.5million plus add-ons.
The three men were formally unveiled to the media on Wednesday and shortly after the press conference, Ashley touched down at the training ground in his helicopter to be greeted by the former Manchester United defender, who was delighted with the backing he had received from the sportswear magnate and managing director Lee Charnley.
Bruce said: “They just bought into it. That’s what you want. ‘We’ll try to help you’, was the response I got. ‘If that’s what you want, we’ll try to get them for you’.”
The PA news agency has approached the Premier League for comment regarding the takeover update.
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