Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley has accused the club’s critics of attempting to “create negativity” around manager Steve Bruce.
Charnley insists suggestions that Bruce was the 11th name on Newcastle’s list of managerial candidates are “nonsense” amid ongoing disapproval of the club’s owners.
Unrest at Newcastle? Five key things to know…
- Newcastle fans have been unhappy with owner Mike Ashley for some time.
- Much-loved manager Rafael Benitez left the club at the end of his contract earlier in the summer.
- The appointment of his replacement, Steve Bruce, has been divisive to say the least.
- Newcastle lost their Premier League curtain-raiser 1-0 against Arsenal at home on Sunday.
- Managing director Lee Charnley says negativity is being falsely created around Bruce.
The Bruce era began with a 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal on Sunday as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal at St James’ Park.
But accusations that Bruce was not among the club’s main summer targets are wide of the mark, according to Charnley.
“Nonsense. Absolute garbage,” the managing director said in response to those suggestions.
“That (11th choice) was a complete fabrication. It is disrespectful to Steve and it was done to try to create negativity around him. It is completely false.
“The reality is we went through a comprehensive and extensive process. Steve was always somebody who was in our thinking. But you have to explore every option.
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“Steve is a really nice guy and genuinely cares about the city and the football club.
“He is somebody we can have a really good relationship with and we can work with. He is also an excellent man-manager.”
Newcastle have the chance to bounce back from their opening day disappointment when they face Norwich City at Carrow Road this weekend, followed by a trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
Bruce’s side remain one of the favourites to be relegated this season despite spending big on the likes of Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin in the summer transfer window.