July 24, 2020 / 11:50 AM / 20 days ago

Newcastle's Bruce seeks takeover resolution to plan for new season

(Reuters) - Newcastle United need clarity on their proposed takeover sooner rather than later so the club can start planning for the next Premier League season, manager Steve Bruce said on Friday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle United - The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain - July 20, 2020 Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pool via REUTERS/Glyn Kirk/Files

The Premier League’s board has been carrying out an examination of the proposed Saudi-backed takeover as part of its ‘owners and directors test’ which evaluates the suitability of ownership groups.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters had said last month that the takeover was “complicated” and Bruce said he hoped for a swift end to the saga at a news conference ahead of the final game of the season against Liverpool on Sunday.

“Look, we need a resolution to that one way or the other but all I can do... is plan for what we need and work on that,” Bruce told reporters. “A lot of previous planning has been disrupted because of what has happened in the world.

“The longer you’re in the Premier League, the bigger and better you become. It’s our third year (in the league) and we’ve comfortably stayed up this year - we can’t just be happy with that.”

The transfer window opens on Monday and Bruce said he is looking to add quality to the squad and bring in new players, pointing to how last year’s recruits Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin improved the side.

“When I say business as usual, we’ve got one or two things in the fire right now. Let’s hope we can pull them off,” Bruce added.

“We’ve got competition. My job is to keep knocking on the door and asking the question.”

Newcastle host champions Liverpool, who are on 96 points and looking to break their own club record for most points in a season (97).

“I hope that they’ve been partying for three nights after they lifted the trophy and I hope there’s a few of them who are worse for wear,” Bruce said. “Knowing their professionalism, I don’t think there will be.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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