Former Villa man provides damning insight into Steve Bruce’s training methods

Former Aston Villa defender Ritchie De Laet has provided an insight into Steve Bruce’s training style, comparing it to an under 9’s session.

In an old interview, which has gone viral this week, the Belgian wasn’t kind to his old boss, who is under pressure at Newcastle United, as they slip towards the Premier League relegation zone.

One of the quotes from the interview, which you can see on the Sport Social Twitter feed, said Bruce used to throw the ball into the middle of the players in training and declare “let’s play”, and compared the strategy to under-9’s football training.

De Laet also said that the football Bruce played was similar to the style Tony Pulis employed, although at least Pulis had a plan for his teams.

The quotes won’t surprise Newcastle fans, who have lost patience with their manager, having not won any of their last nine games in all competitions.

De Laet’s words also check out when you learn that former Birmingham City defender Mario Melchiot said something similar some years ago, claiming that Bruce didn’t focus too much on tactics during training sessions.

With Mike Ashley unlikely to make drastic changes anytime soon, Newcastle fans are hoping something changes to stop the rot at the club, as it looks likely that they will be dragged into a relegation battle with Sheffield United, West Brom, Fulham, Brighton and Burnley this season.

Mike Ashley calls for PPV price drop

The Premier League are charging £14.95 per game for all non-televised games, which has not gone down well with fans across the country, many of whom are choosing to donate to local food charities rather than pay the price to watch their team.

In a statement on Newcastle’s official website, Ashley called on the Premier League to lower the cost to £4.95 until Christmas, with profit split between the Premier League and the football pyramid below the top flight.

Ashley also explained that when the proposal was put to a vote earlier this year, Newcastle did vote for the agreement, but only because there were no realistic or any viable alternatives put forward by the governing body.

Of all the strange things to happen in 2020, Mike Ashley being the football fans voice of reason might just top everything.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley preparing for Premier League legal battle

Ashley has instructed lawyers Blackstone Chambers over a simmering row with the governing body after Amanda Staveley’s consortium withdrew its £340milion offer in July following a 17-week wait, ultimately in vain, for officials to complete their owners’ and directors’ test.

A statement on the firm’s official website on Monday said: “Shaheed Fatima QC and Nick De Marco QC are acting for Newcastle United FC and Mike Ashley (instructed by Dentons) in a dispute with the Premier League about its rejection of a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test.”

Newcastle claimed last Wednesday that the bid had been rejected by the Premier League, who insisted the following day that it had not.

Having taken legal advice as he attempted to resurrect the deal, Ashley accused the governing body of not acting “appropriately” in repeatedly seeking further clarification over the relationship between the Saudi state and the PIF, a major stumbling block alongside the issue of TV piracy.

The Premier League responded by insisting the proposed takeover could only proceed to a suitability assessment once “all appropriate information” had been provided and repeated its offer of independent arbitration, something which had already been rejected by the prospective buyers.

Despite Ashley’s best efforts to rekindle the process behind the scenes, it appears to have reached something of an impasse, and the latest development represents an attempt to clear the path once again.

The PA news agency understands that far from simply seeking compensation, Ashley is trying to prove there is no case in law to block the takeover, and engaging two renowned barristers to fight his corner is an indication of his determination to leave no stone unturned.

Sources close to the Staveley camp described the league’s stance as “disingenuous” following the decision to withdraw the consortium’s offer having insisted it had provided all the necessary answers.

It is understood they are still monitoring the situation, but it would take a significant change in outlook from one side or the other to enable a breakthrough, and it appears Ashley is now attempting to force such an alteration.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley preparing for Premier League legal battle

Ashley has instructed lawyers Blackstone Chambers over a simmering row with the governing body after Amanda Staveley’s consortium withdrew its £340milion offer in July following a 17-week wait, ultimately in vain, for officials to complete their owners’ and directors’ test.

A statement on the firm’s official website on Monday said: “Shaheed Fatima QC and Nick De Marco QC are acting for Newcastle United FC and Mike Ashley (instructed by Dentons) in a dispute with the Premier League about its rejection of a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test.”

Newcastle claimed last Wednesday that the bid had been rejected by the Premier League, who insisted the following day that it had not.

Having taken legal advice as he attempted to resurrect the deal, Ashley accused the governing body of not acting “appropriately” in repeatedly seeking further clarification over the relationship between the Saudi state and the PIF, a major stumbling block alongside the issue of TV piracy.

The Premier League responded by insisting the proposed takeover could only proceed to a suitability assessment once “all appropriate information” had been provided and repeated its offer of independent arbitration, something which had already been rejected by the prospective buyers.

Despite Ashley’s best efforts to rekindle the process behind the scenes, it appears to have reached something of an impasse, and the latest development represents an attempt to clear the path once again.

The PA news agency understands that far from simply seeking compensation, Ashley is trying to prove there is no case in law to block the takeover, and engaging two renowned barristers to fight his corner is an indication of his determination to leave no stone unturned.

Sources close to the Staveley camp described the league’s stance as “disingenuous” following the decision to withdraw the consortium’s offer having insisted it had provided all the necessary answers.

It is understood they are still monitoring the situation, but it would take a significant change in outlook from one side or the other to enable a breakthrough, and it appears Ashley is now attempting to force such an alteration.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley preparing for Premier League legal battle

Ashley has instructed lawyers Blackstone Chambers over a simmering row with the governing body after Amanda Staveley’s consortium withdrew its £340milion offer in July following a 17-week wait, ultimately in vain, for officials to complete their owners’ and directors’ test.

A statement on the firm’s official website on Monday said: “Shaheed Fatima QC and Nick De Marco QC are acting for Newcastle United FC and Mike Ashley (instructed by Dentons) in a dispute with the Premier League about its rejection of a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test.”

Newcastle claimed last Wednesday that the bid had been rejected by the Premier League, who insisted the following day that it had not.

Having taken legal advice as he attempted to resurrect the deal, Ashley accused the governing body of not acting “appropriately” in repeatedly seeking further clarification over the relationship between the Saudi state and the PIF, a major stumbling block alongside the issue of TV piracy.

The Premier League responded by insisting the proposed takeover could only proceed to a suitability assessment once “all appropriate information” had been provided and repeated its offer of independent arbitration, something which had already been rejected by the prospective buyers.

Despite Ashley’s best efforts to rekindle the process behind the scenes, it appears to have reached something of an impasse, and the latest development represents an attempt to clear the path once again.

The PA news agency understands that far from simply seeking compensation, Ashley is trying to prove there is no case in law to block the takeover, and engaging two renowned barristers to fight his corner is an indication of his determination to leave no stone unturned.

Sources close to the Staveley camp described the league’s stance as “disingenuous” following the decision to withdraw the consortium’s offer having insisted it had provided all the necessary answers.

It is understood they are still monitoring the situation, but it would take a significant change in outlook from one side or the other to enable a breakthrough, and it appears Ashley is now attempting to force such an alteration.

Mike Ashley taking legal advice after Premier League reject Newcastle United takeover

More than a month after Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners, who were backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and the Reuben Brothers, withdrew their £340million offer for the club, with the governing body still conducting its owners’ and directors’ test, the Magpies have revealed that a decision has now been made.

In a terse statement released on Wednesday evening, the club said: “Newcastle United can confirm that the Premier League has rejected a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test.

“This conclusion has been reached despite the club providing the Premier League with overwhelming evidence and legal opinions that PIF is independent and autonomous of the Saudi Arabian government.

“The club and its owners do not accept that Premier League chief executive Richard Masters and the Premier League have acted appropriately in relation to this matter and will be considering all relevant options available to them.

“Mike Ashley understands fans’ frustrations and would like to reassure them that he has been fully committed to ensuring this takeover process reached completion as he felt it was in the best interests of the club. Mike continues to be fully supportive to Steve Bruce, the players and all the staff and wishes them well for the upcoming season.”

The PA news agency has approached the Premier League, which had been seeking clarity over links to the Saudi state and TV piracy, for comment.

It is understood that Ashley, who flew in to the club’s Benton raining headquarters by helicopter on Wednesday afternoon to meet head coach Bruce after summer signings Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis had been presented to the media, had been working to revive PCP’s interest.

However, his efforts to remove the hurdles which blocked their path appear to have prompted league officials to move decisively, although the tenor of the club’s response suggests that may not be the end of the matter.

Ashley has been trying to offload the club he bought for £134.4million for much of his 13 years at the helm and looked to have made a significant breakthrough when Staveley’s consortium was granted exclusivity in April.

Their withdrawal in frustration at the ongoing delay was greeted with fury by fans hoping for an end to the sportswear magnate’s ill-fated tenure and an injection of cash to help Newcastle compete on a more even keel after more than a decade of relative austerity.

Rival interest from American businessman Henry Mauriss and the Paris-based Bellagraph Nova Group has failed to materialise into anything more substantial.

Ashley did not expect to have to fund another summer transfer window, but Bruce, whose side kicks off the new season at West Ham on Saturday, has been delighted with the backing he has received since it became apparent that the club would not change hands in the short term.