By Kieran Maguire

21st Jan, 2021 | 7:03pm

'Not that Ashley gives a ****' - Exclusive: Finance Guru shares intriguing Newcastle sack view

Newcastle United fans are unlikely to see Steve Bruce depart St James’ Park “while Mike Ashley” is still calling the shots, according to Kieran Maguire.

The football finance expert and new Football Insider columnist made his comments with the Magpies without a win in nine across all competitions.

Yet Steve Bruce’s job security, according to The Chronicle, has not wavered.

Ashley has made no secret of his plans to sell the club and is unlikely to make sweeping changes so long as Newcastle continue to steer clear of relegation in the Premier League.

According to Maguire, Newcastle have in fact overachieved of late, with Bruce largely blameless when it comes to failing signings.

Asked if fans are likely to see a managerial change in the near future based on financial performance, he told Football Insider: “While Mike Ashley is still there, no. Because, to a certain extent, Steve Bruce is taking the heat off the owner himself. Not that Ashley gives a damn. When it comes to having a thick skin, he’s up there.

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“If you look at spending, Newcastle have probably punched above their weight in the three seasons they’ve had in the Premier League.

“In terms of points earned compared to the wages that they pay, they are doing well. 

“Steve Bruce isn’t 100% responsible for the signings they make either. Joelinton has been poor, Almiron isn’t first-choice as he originally was. Those are the two big signings. Then they got Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson.

“If Newcastle finish between 13th and 17th that’s fine as far as Ashley is concerned.”

Despite the furore surrounding Bruce, Newcastle look relatively comfortable in terms of their league position.

They are seven points clear of 18th place Fulham, on whom they have a game in hand.

In other news, a former Steve Bruce played has given his verdict on the under-fire manager, saying the players do not “believe” in the Newcastle United manager.