Sheffield Wednesday plot legal action as Newcastle appoint Steve Bruce without permission

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The 58-year-old resigned as Sheffield Wednesday manager on Monday having had talks with Newcastle United about the vacant position at St James’ Park.

A boyhood Newcastle fan, having been born just 18 miles from the city, Bruce was then named as Rafa Benitez’s successor today after the Spaniard left last month upon the expiry of his contract.

Despite Bruce’s resignation, Championship club Wednesday are demanding a compensation fee of up to £4million given the disruption the manager’s departure has had with their new season just over two weeks away.

It was reported on Tuesday night that Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri had rejected an offer of around £3m from Newcastle owner Mike Ashley to settle the matter.

And with no fee having yet been agreed, the south Yorkshire outfit insist that they will consider taking legal action against the Magpies over the acrimonious affair.

The statement read: “The Club is disappointed to learn via public statement issued by Newcastle United that it has appointed former Sheffield Wednesday staff Steve Bruce, Steve Agnew and Steve Clemence.

“Regardless of the fact that the staff resigned from their positions with the Club on Monday, there remains outstanding legal issues to be resolved between the club and the staff and Newcastle United. 

“The Club is currently considering its position and taking the appropriate legal advice.

“No further comment will be made by the Club concerning this matter.”

Bruce walks into a toxic atmosphere at Newcastle with the supporters having once again made their feelings towards Ashley known following the departure of the hugely-popular Benitez and thousands of season tickets still unsold.

The north east club have also lost last season’s two top goalscorers, with Salomon Rondon – who was on loan at Newcastle from West Brom last term – set to link up with Benitez in China at Dalian Yifang and Ayoze Perez having departed for Leicester City for £30m without any replacements signed as of yet.

Bruce – who has signed a three-year deal – told Newcastle’s official website: “I’m delighted and incredibly proud to be appointed as head coach of Newcastle United. 

“This is my boyhood club and it was my dad’s club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.

“There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but it’s one that my staff and I are ready for. 

“We’ll roll our sleeves up and we’ll be giving it everything from the off to ensure supporters have a successful team that they can be proud of.”

Though Rondon and Perez have yet to be replaced, Hoffenheim striker Joelinton is likely to join in a club-record £36m deal in the coming days.

The 22-year-old Brazilian scored 11 goals in 35 games across all competitions last season.

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