Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday March 28 2009
Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan made a public statement this week on the future of manager Steve Bruce when he said 'If a club came in for him it would have to be one of the big four before Steve would even consider looking at it."
So is Whelan totally dismissing a little rumour that is circulating around at the moment suggesting that Steve Bruce will leave the Latics for Newcastle United in the summer.
Now Whelan is not a man to hide behind his words and in the Newcastle chairman Mike Ashley the Latics owner has a target that he likes to vent some venom towards, to think that Ashley could lure Bruce away would be a nightmare for Whelan.
Ashley and Whelan go back a long way and their paths (and swords) have crossed many times on the business front with both being rivals in the sports wear sector, Whelan was head of JJB Sports and Ashley in a similar position with Sports Direct.
Only this week Ashley challenged Whelan in attempting to buy the Gym Club division of JJB which Whelan was eventually successful in securing and re-naming DW Fitness but it appeared to leave a bitter taste with Whelan with his attack of the Newcastle chairman in the media suggesting that the feuding pair will continue their little spats in a very public arena.
Whelan said that Ashley is bringing Newcastle down and his antics aren`t what is expected of a Premier League chairman, he said:
'I don't trust Ashley as far as I could bloody throw him'.
'I think he's got what he deserved. You don't go into a football club as big and proud as that and lower all the standards.
Whelan went on to say a lot more as he grabbed the opportunity to slate his bitterest rival but one statement that was intriguing:
"You can't get a Tottenham fan buying Newcastle and letting people think he supports them. It's not right, there's no pride left in the club.'
Isnt Whelan a Blackburn Rovers supporter?
Any way back to Bruce, apparently he is interested in taking over at Newcastle should Joe Kinnear decide that he doesn`t want to risk getting back to work after such a massive health scare and Bruce may just be tempted to move this summer having taken Latics to a new level and one web site claiming that they have spoken to a source close to Bruce who says:
"It is a job that interests him and he hasn`t tried to hide that from Newcastle either. They know how he feels. He is from the North East and it would be like coming home for him.
"He`s done an excellent job at Wigan and enjoys working there, but Newcastle are a much bigger club and it is a challenge he would like to take on in the future. I think even Dave Whelan realises that."
It will be an interesting time this summer at the Latics and if there is any truth that the club are thinking about touring Australia in preseason I`d say go for it and keep Brucie as far away from Newcastle as possible, we`ll never get another like him
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Date:Saturday March 28 2009
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