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Newcastle fan group to protest against Steve Bruce appointment

Newcastle fan group to protest against Steve Bruce appointment

Newcastle United fans are planning to boycott their opening game of the Premier League season in protest.

Fans are furious with owner Mike Ashley after the appointment of Steve Bruce as manager to replace Rafa Benitez.

The departure of Benitez last month angered supporters after he was unable to agree terms for a contract extension.

Former Sunderland, Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday boss Bruce was appointed on a three-year deal on Tuesday, just moments before the Magpies were beaten 4-0 by Wolves in a pre-season friendly in China.

A group of fan nine disgruntled supporters groups have now come together to form “Empty for Ashley” and announced they plan to boycott their first home game of the campaign against Arsenal on August 11 to send a message to their owner.

A statement by ‘Empty for Ashley’ read: “Nine Newcastle United supporter groups, which are calling on fans to boycott the club’s first game of the season, against Arsenal – have issued a joint statement in response to the appointment of Steve Bruce as manager.

“Steve Bruce is an unambitious appointment by an unambitious owner.

“To go from a world-class manager in Rafa Benitez, who brought stability and unity to the club to Steve Bruce – who frankly wouldn’t get a job at any other Premier League side right now – in the space of six weeks is beyond disappointing.

“Most Premier League clubs look to the continent or lower divisions for young, promising, forward-thinking managers in the mould of Pochettino, Gracia and Santo – who bring a new brand of football to a highly-competitive league.

“In Bruce, Mike Ashley has opted for a manager who has been relegated from the league numerous times – he isn’t even a safe pair of hands.

“Bruce’s appointment is testament to Ashley’s continued mismanagement of Newcastle United Football Club, which has been the hallmark of his tenure.

“It’s now time for him to sell the club to a party that genuinely wants to take the club forward.”

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It is not the first time Newcastle fans have taken to protest in recent weeks.

A number of fans demonstrated against Ashley outside St James’ Park after news of Benitez’s departure broke last month.

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