Mike Ashley will do well to get £150million for Newcastle United if they get relegated.
That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after this site revealed that Bruce’s pay-off would increase to more than £4million if he keeps the team up for a second season.
The 60-year-old’s surprisingly large payoff – given Ashley’s notorious frugality – rises with each season he ensures top-flight safety.
Newcastle are teetering on the edge of relegation and have just a two-point advantage over 18th place Fulham, though they do have a game in hand.
Maguire compared Bruce with outspoken ex-Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez and insisted that Ashley’s business model is born out of self-interest.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “I think Ashley is trying to ensure that the club is in the Premier League when he sells it.
“Newcastle is worth £300m as a Premier League club. If he gets half of that in the Championship, he’ll be doing well.
“For whatever reason, Ashley and Steve Bruce seem to have a good relationship. I think Ashley knows there isn’t that many people he can trust and what he doesn’t want is a situation such as arose under Benitez when you’ve got the manager effectively siding with the fans.
“Bruce isn’t going to do that. To a certain extent, he is going to be Ashley’s mouthpiece and will toe the party line.”
Ashley is keen to sell Newcastle and saw a £300m Saudi-backed takeover bid collapse in 2020.
The Times revealed that the club has a policy of not including relegation clauses in players’ contracts and so will take a heft wage bill with them if they finish in the bottom three.