Newcastle United have appointed Steve Bruce as their head coach on a three-year contract.
Former Sunderland manager Bruce, 58, resigned as Sheffield Wednesday boss on Monday following talks with the Magpies at the weekend.
Newcastle have been without a manager since Rafael Benitez left when his contract expired in June, saying the club “did not share his vision”.
Bruce was born near Newcastle and was a boyhood Magpies fan.
“There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but it’s one that my staff and I are ready for,” said Bruce. “This is my boyhood club and it was my dad’s club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.”
Bruce will be joined by coaches Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, who have been part of his team at a number of his previous clubs.
Lee Charnley, managing director at Newcastle United, said: “Steve knows what this club means to supporters and to the region and he will put his heart and soul into leading our talented group of players with the full support of our staff.”
Newcastle are the 10th club Bruce has managed and this is his 11th post, having led Wigan Athletic twice.
His appointment has prompted widespread debate among fans, with factions of the club’s support still angered a deal could not be struck for Benitez to stay on at St James’ Park after more than three years at the club.
|Did you know?|
|Steve Bruce has been in managerial employment during every calendar year since his first job with Sheffield United in 1998.|
Benitez was appointed manager of Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang little more than a week after his departure and said his Newcastle vision was not shared with “those at the top of the club”.
Owner Mike Ashley has drawn fierce criticism from Newcastle’s support, with a perceived lack of spending often a focus of frustration.
Last week, former England boss Sam Allardyce said he had turned down the chance to be Newcastle manager.
Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta had also been linked with the job, as were ex-Manchester United boss David Moyes and Belgium manager Roberto Martinez.
|Steve Bruce – competitive record (all comps)|
|Games: 904 Wins: 348 Draws: 227 Losses: 329|
|Average win percentage: 38.5%|
Bruce saw his Sheffield Wednesday side lose only three times in 18 matches after taking charge on 1 February, leading them to a 12th-place finish in the Championship.
He briefly delayed taking over at Hillsborough in order to recover from surgery and the death of both his parents in 2018.
Bruce will now fly to China to meet the squad following Wednesday’s Premier League Asia Trophy match with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
A promotion specialist – the stats
- Steve Bruce has managed 392 Premier League games, the seventh-most in the competition’s history.
- Bruce has suffered relegation from the Premier League twice, in 2005-06 with Birmingham City and 2014-15 with Hull City.
- His highest finish in the top-flight was 10th, with Birmingham in 2003-04 and Sunderland in 2010-11.
- Bruce has won four promotions from the second-tier of English football (2001-02 and 2006-07 with Birmingham 2012-13 and 2015-16 with Hull), the joint-most in history along with Neil Warnock.
- Since the start of the 1998-99 season – his first in management – Bruce has taken charge of 798 English league matches (inc. play-offs); in that time, only Neil Warnock has managed more (812).
- Among the 33 managers to have managed 200 or more Premier League games, Bruce’s win percentage of 28.1% (110 games in 392 games) is the second-lowest, ahead only of his former Manchester United team-mate Bryan Robson (26.8%).
BBC Newcastle’s Newcastle United commentator Matthew Raisbeck
While is hard to see how Newcastle could have found an upgrade on Rafael Benitez, many supporters are rather underwhelmed by the idea of Steve Bruce taking over.
With the departure of the hugely popular Spaniard, and the fact takeover talks between owner Mike Ashley and Sheikh Khaled appeared to have stalled, it has been a frustrating summer for United’s fans – many of whom are now in rebellious mood and have called for a boycott of St James’ Park until Ashley leaves.
Bruce has been a contender for the job in the past and there is little doubt he will be determined to do the best he can for the club he supports.
He will also be less political than Benitez, who regularly clashed with the club over its recruitment policy, in particular, during his three years in charge.
But, the vastly experienced 58-year-old has a huge job on his hands to prepare the Magpies for the new campaign.
They have already lost strikers Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez – responsible for 23 of their 42 Premier League goals last season – plus midfielders Mo Diame and Kenedy from their playing squad.
And, with less than a month until the transfer window closes, they are the only top-flight club yet to make a signing.