Date: 19th November 2007 at 9:28pm
Written by:

Steve Bruce was allowed to move to Wigan for less compensation than was in his Birmingham City contract because it was the morally right thing to do, according to co-owner David Sullivan.

It has emerged that Bruce, who has reportedly signed a £2million-a-year deal with Wigan, has a £7million compensation clause in his contract, but it was decided to only ask for £3million because it was decided it would be wrong to prevent a move. Newcastle apparently decided against appointing Bruce three years ago due to the compensation clause.

Sullivan was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: “We priced Steve out of a move to Newcastle three years ago. In his contract there is a £7m compensation clause. The reality is that I don’t know whether anyone would pay that.

“However, when we were approached by Dave Whelan, we felt – because we are nice people – that it would be morally wrong to stand in Steve’s way again. We could have insisted on the £7m. But we have instead allowed him to leave for £3m.

“We could not foresee the effect that refusing him a chance to leave would have. We could quite easily have had a soured manager on our hands. In our position, that would have been courting disaster.

‘Steve did a good job here. And he was well rewarded for it, contrary to what has been said in some quarters.”

The situation surrounding Bruce’s successor is rather complicated due to the uncertainty surrounding Carson Yeung’s possible takeover. Additionally, it is thought Bruce’s assistant Eric Black could also move to Wigan in the near future.

A number of high-profile foreign managers are thought to be on the short-list – but the director’s are first taking legal advice regarding whether they can make a permanent appointment given the current shareholding situation.