EPL

Newcastle boss Bruce reveals social media death threats: 'They hope I die of COVID'

By Sports Desk February 11, 2021

Steve Bruce has called for social media companies to better police "absolutely vile and obscene" online abuse from "idiots and morons", having revealed he has been targeted himself.

Newcastle United head coach Bruce does not use social media but learned this week of death threats through his son Alex. 

Bruce, a Premier League-winning captain with Manchester United, was discussing the topic after top-flight referee Mike Dean reportedly asked not to officiate a match this week due to threats directed his way. 

Dean sent off West Ham's Tomas Soucek in the final seconds of their draw with Fulham last week, a decision that was later overturned. 

His dismissal of Jan Bednarek for Southampton earlier in the week, in a 9-0 defeat at Manchester United, was also rescinded on appeal. 

Football authorities are attempting to clamp down on online abuse amid a series of incidents - many of them including racist comments. Facebook, which also owns Instagram, has announced new penalties relating to the matter. 

Bruce, who came under scrutiny as Newcastle endured an 11-match winless run in all competitions across December and January, condemned the threats on Thursday. 

"Social media is a really, really powerful weapon for everybody concerned," Bruce said. "For me, these big companies have got to police it better. 

"The abuse that I've had - death threats, all this sorts of stuff - and then you see a referee wanting to come away from it because he's made a mistake, people threatening him with his life and all the rest of it, it's just absolutely obscene and totally ridiculous. 

"They need to clamp down on it and they need to police it better, and we need to stop it, basically. If there are vulnerable people out there, it's absolutely - in my opinion - vile, some of it." 

Asked to confirm he had been the subject of similar abuse, Bruce told reporters: "I don't go on it [social media], but of course people close to me do, who are sensitive towards their father, of course. Yes, we've had that to deal with." 

The Newcastle boss added: "When I see some of the nature of it, it is totally and utterly vile. Some of the stuff that I've had is absolutely obscene. It fuels a hatred. I don't know. 

"When I see an experienced referee - like him, loathe him, whatever you want with Mike Dean - nobody deserves that because he gets a decision wrong. 

"Let's be fair, as well, it was in the last 30 seconds of the game, nothing really hinged on it, yet he feels he has the need to step down this weekend. 

"For everybody, these big companies have got to police it better and find out these idiots and morons who write such vile abuse and make them be punished. 

"In conversations I've had with the family over the last few days - we were talking about Mike Dean and the situation he feels - it was brought to my attention that I've had it, too. 

"Horrible stuff, which I couldn't really get my breath with: they hope that I die of COVID and all this. It's absolutely vile and obscene. 

"It has to be stopped. These big companies have to start policing it better than they've been doing, that's for sure." 

Bruce was speaking at a news conference ahead of Newcastle's trip to Chelsea, where he confirmed 10-goal striker Callum Wilson is facing up to eight weeks out with a hamstring tear. 

A knee injury for Fabian Schar had already been announced, with a similar lay-off anticipated for both the Switzerland defender and Javier Manquillo, who suffered an ankle issue. 

Related items

  • Premier League approves proposed Chelsea takeover as sale nears completion Premier League approves proposed Chelsea takeover as sale nears completion

    Chelsea's proposed takeover has taken a huge step towards completion after the Premier League confirmed the sale was approved on Tuesday.

    The Blues agreed to terms for the sale of the club to an ownership group led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss for £4.25billion earlier in May.

    The takeover, which promises investment of £1.75billion into the club, briefly appeared to be in doubt due to suggestions Roman Abramovich was unhappy with the sale structure.

    Abramovich denied that to be the case, and the deal appears to be nearing a resolution, though the sale still needs to be approved by the UK government.

    The proceeds of the sale are expected to be donated to the victims of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    A Premier League statement released on Tuesday read: "The Premier League Board has today approved the proposed takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake consortium.

    "The purchase remains subject to the government issuing the required sale licence and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.

    "The Board has applied the Premier League's Owners' and Directors' Test (OADT) to all prospective directors, and undertaken the necessary due diligence.

    "The members of the Consortium purchasing the club are affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter.

    "Chelsea FC will now work with the relevant governments to secure the necessary licences to complete the takeover."

  • Ten Hag outlines main target for first season in Man Utd hotseat Ten Hag outlines main target for first season in Man Utd hotseat

    Erik ten Hag will not be targeting a Premier League title challenge in his first season as Manchester United manager, instead aiming for a return to the Champions League.

    Ten Hag was confirmed as the club's next permanent manager in April, with the Dutchman set to pick up from interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

    After guiding Ajax to a third Eredivisie title in four full seasons at the helm, Ten Hag ended his contract in Amsterdam early in order to start work with United ahead of schedule.

    The 52-year-old and his two assistants, Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren, were present on Sunday as United lost their final match of the season 1-0 to Crystal Palace.

    Ten Hag was in Manchester the following day to be introduced to the media for the first time, with playing philosophy, recruitment and squad personnel among the key topics discussed at his news conference.

    Talk of seasonal targets was surprisingly absent, but in a separate interview with the club's media channels, Ten Hag provided some insight.

    "I said this is the project, to bring Man United back on top, but also we have to accept the current situation we are in," he said.

    "First of all, Man United belong in the Champions League, so that will be the first target."

    United did appear to be in contention – even if generally regarded as an outside bet – for the top four during much of the 2021-22 season.

    But their form suffered badly during the final stages of the season after they were knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid in March.

    Since losing 1-0 to Atletico at home on March 15, United won just twice in the Premier League and lost five times – among those defeats were 4-0 reverses at the hands of Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion.

    Their form over the past two months has laid bare the size of the task facing Ten Hag. While Rangnick did initially stabilise United slightly at the back after his appointment, in recent times they became leaky again and this was exacerbated by a lack of attacking ruthlessness.

    The choice of Ten Hag was said to have been influenced by the brand of football his teams play, with fans appearing to react more positively towards him than Mauricio Pochettino when it was reported the pair were the frontrunners.

    And he seems convinced success will follow if he can get his ideas across to the players.

    Asked about any wisdom he can take away from Ajax, he added: "There are similarities but also contradictions.

    "I have to learn and I have to adjust but I also have to stay myself. I'm convinced that we can bring in the structures and the way of play that we want.

    "If we get that done, we get that communicated to the players, then we will get that success.

    "Like I want to win. Winning is the most important, but also I have the intention to do that in a certain way and in an attacking way. 

    "If we cannot do it like that, we still have to win. That is what we have to put in our team."

  • Tottenham agree equity injection of up to £150million Tottenham agree equity injection of up to £150million

    Tottenham have stated they can further invest both on and off the pitch after agreeing a capital injection of up to £150million from the club's majority shareholder ENIC Sports Inc (ENIC).

    This equity increase has been enabled by "the issue of convertible A Shares and accompanying warrants", according to the Premier League club.

    Spurs' statement explained the investment "represents permanent capital, with no ongoing interest cost to the club, and which may be drawn in tranches until the end of the year".

    The statement added that Spurs' "independent directors have benefited from [their] majority shareholder's ability to invest directly, swiftly and without the extensive due diligence and documentation involved in third party funding."

    ENIC now has the ability to increase its ownership from 85.6 per cent to 87.5 per cent. 

    The news comes after reports emerged that Antonio Conte, who guided Spurs to Champions League qualification, had been promised up to six new signings in the close season.

    "The delivery of a world-class home was always a key building block in driving diversified revenues to enable us to invest in the teams and support our ambitions to be consistently competing at the highest levels of European football," said Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

    "Additional capital from ENIC will now enable further investment in the club at an important time."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.