Steve Bruce has been sacked by Newcastle after the club’s £305million Saudi takeover.
The 60-year-old’s job has been hanging in the balance ever since the Magpies were bought.
And Bruce’s exit was confirmed by the club after two seasons in charge as they look to go in a different direction.
Bruce said: “I am grateful to everyone connected with Newcastle United for the opportunity to manage this unique football club.
“I would like to thank my coaching team, the players and the support staff in particular for all their hard work. There have been highs and lows, but they have given everything even in difficult moments and should be proud of their efforts.
“This is a club with incredible support, and I hope the new owners can take it forward to where we all want it to be. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the rest of this season and beyond.”
Graeme Jones will take charge of Newcastle for their trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday after being named interim boss.
Gateshead-born Jones, 51, joined Bruce’s coaching staff in January and helped Gareth Southgate prepare England for Euro 2020.
It is believed Bruce will receive around £8m in compensation after his axe.
His sacking comes after Newcastle were beaten 3-2 by Tottenham at St James’ Park on Sunday in front of Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi.
Callum Wilson had scored early to jubilant scenes on Tyneside but Spurs were 3-1 up by half-time following a lengthy stoppage after a fan was taken ill.
Bruce managed his 1,000th game as boss but the defeat means it is now EIGHT without a win for Newcastle to start the season.
Former Tottenham target Paulo Fonseca is favourite for the job, with Dortmund’s Lucien Favre, Antonio Conte, Roberto Martinez, Graham Potter and Steven Gerrard all in the mix.
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 will have to find Bruce’s long-term replacement.
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 and Adrien Rabiot has been linked.
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