Steve Bruce gives update on dealings with Mike Ashley amid takeover bid

Newcastle United fans have seen it all before – and so too has Steve Bruce.
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The build-up to Sunday’s televised game against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium has been dominated by news of Peter Kenyon’s latest takeover bid. Kenyon has put together a part-funded £300million offer for the the club, which was put up for sale in late 2017 by owner Mike Ashley.

Asked about the bid, Bruce said: “You’re asking the wrong one – really don’t know.

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Those in the know at Newcastle are sceptical about the chances of Ashley accepting the new proposal from Kenyon given that he very publicly dismissed his last takeover attempt two months ago.

Steve Bruce.Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce.

Bruce, for his part, is focused on matters on the pitch. Newcastle are 17th in the Premier League with one win from six games.

“I’ve been involved in it before at Aston Villa,” said United’s head coach. “I’ve been involved in a takeover at Birmingham City. If it’s true, then I get involved. It’s something I can’t influence. Until it is decided, it cannot be any influence to us. We just have to carry on.”

Bruce, appointed in the summer, previously followed the takeover sagas at his boyhood club from a distance.

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The 58-year-old said: “It’s an ongoing saga, isn’t it? I think people are saying ‘here we go again’. It’s not going to influence me.”

Bruce is confident that his players won’t be distracted by renewed talk of a takeover.

“All the players are professionals,” said Bruce.

“I’m sure they’ve heard it all before. If they’ve been here with Jamaal (Lascelles, United’s captain), they’ve probably seen it how many times? Five? Six? Twice a season for the last five years? It’s common knowledge the club’s for sale.”

Bruce hasn’t had any dealings with Ashley since the billionaire made a rare visit to the training ground in the summer.

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“I’m perfectly fine with it,” said Bruce. “It’s fair to say (managing director) Lee Charnley runs the club on a day-to-day basis. We have regular contact. That’s every day, twice a day. I’m fine with it. The club’s run fantastically well through Lee.”