In summary: Sheffield Wednesday learn of Steve Bruce's Newcastle United appointment on social media after sorry saga
Officials at Sheffield Wednesday learned that Steve Bruce had been unveiled as the new Newcastle United manager as it was revealed to the world on social media, The Star understands.
Bruce, along with two members of his coaching staff – Stephen Clemence and Steve Agnew – handed in their resignations on Monday, but it remains unclear whether these were accepted by Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri.
A short statement released by the club following Newcastle’s announcement revealed they are taking legal advice as to their next steps.
The bombshell officially brought to an end – from a football perspective at least – a buoyant six-month reign in the at Hillsborough that saw the Owls climb out of hot water to flirt with a finish in the Championship play-off places.
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 Stephen 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.”
The Owls players, who have showed little sign of distraction in a promising 4-0 friendly win at Northampton Town on Tuesday, travelled to Germany today to continue their pre-season preparations. In matches against VfB Lubeck and Holstein Kiel on Friday and Sunday respectively, they will be led by former Wednesday captain Lee Bullen in what will be his third stint as caretaker manager in under two years.
Focus now shifts to who Bruce’s replacement will be. A message claiming to be written on behalf of ‘SWFC fans’ encouraging club owner Dejphon Chansiri to appoint former Brighton manager Chris Hughton was removed from outside the ground this morning.
Hughton remains the preferred choice of many supporters despite reports in the national media that suggested he had already turned down an approach from Wednesday.
The club have remained tight-lipped in terms of any potential targets, but today legendary former Italy forward Gianfranco Zola – recently relieved of his role as assistant manager at Chelsea – overtook Hughton to become the bookies’ favourite.