STEVE BRUCE expects to start clearing his desk today as the new Newcastle owners begin work in earnest.
Firing the unpopular Toon boss will be the first big decision made by the Saudi-led consortium.
A multi-million pound pay-off will soften the blow for Bruce, who said last Thursday that the sack would come as no surprise.
That was despite the owners claiming no decision had been made about his future last night.
Geordie Bruce was set to take charge of his 1,000th game as a manager against Spurs at St James’ Park on Sunday, but assistant Graeme Jones is more likely to be in temporary charge instead.
Part-owner Amanda Staveley and husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi will get to work proper today having met staff – but not Bruce – last Friday.
Finding Bruce’s replacement is the priority, with a shortlist including Graham Potter, Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard being considered.
With no chief executive or sporting director in place yet – though Lokomotiv Moscow’s head of sport Ralf Rangnick is in line for the latter – the current board may have to make the appointment.
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Staveley is joined on the board by governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Jamie Reuben, son of David Reuben who owns ten per cent with his brother Simon.
Their first move was to bring in former Liverpool transfer guru Frank McParland, who is advising on how best to splash some of PIF’s £320billion reserves in January.
A ‘modest’ transfer kitty of around £30m has been assembled to fire 19th-placed Toon to safety.
In theory, the new owners could make up to £200MILLION available without breaching FFP rules – thanks to the strong state Ashley is said to have left the club in.
Philippe Coutinho is reported to be top of a shopping list of ‘world-class names’, while fans have called for Aaron Ramsey to shore up the midfield.
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