Steve Bruce resigns as Hull City manager

London (AFP) – Steve Bruce resigned as manager of Premier League newboys Hull City on Friday, just days after he was being linked with the England national job.

The 55-year-old Englishman, who lost out to compatriot Sam Allardyce for the England post, had taken Hull up for the second time into the Premier League last season but was said to be unhappy about the lack of investment in new players.

The lack of activity in the transfer market has been largely because Hull chairman Assem Allam had been courted by two American consortiums but he has now halted those talks to turn his attention to preparing for the new season which starts in three weeks.

“Following four incredible seasons with the Tigers, including two promotions and our first ever FA Cup final, we can confirm that manager Steve Bruce has left the club by mutual consent,” said a statement by the club, who had steadfastly refused for several hours to confirm the reports of hos resignation that broke earlier on Friday.

“The Board of Directors would like to thank Steve for all his efforts since his appointment in 2012 culminating in a glorious day at Wembley in May which saw the club bounce back into the Premier League. 

“Steve has excelled in his role — both on and off the field — and will be remembered for being the most successful manager in our history to date.”

Bruce, who is ironically second favourite now to replace Allardyce at Sunderland whom he previously managed for two years (2009/11), was also cited in the joint statement. 

“Steve Bruce wishes the club and the owners all the very best for the forthcoming Premier League season,” read his part of the statement.

“Steve also wishes to place on record his thanks to the club’s supporters for their unwavering support and also to all the players and staff who have worked with him during his time at the KCOM Stadium.”

Bruce, who has also managed Birmingham and Wigan, will be replaced by his assistant Mike Phelan, who also played with him during their successful time under Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. 

Further clouding the picture for Bruce, who signed a new three-year contract in March 2015, and had his offer to resign turned down by the board when they were relegated in 2014, is Allam is in ill health and has handed day to day affairs to his son club vice-chairman Ehab.

The final straw could have come when Bruce saw no money being made available for replacements for injured key players — goalkeeper Allan McGregor, central defender Michael Dawson, Moses Odubajo and his defender son, Alex, are all ruled out through long-term injury.

The players made clear they were sad to see him go.

“Never good to lose a manager especially one who has signed you and done so well for the club. Wish him all the best for the future,” tweeted midfielder Tom Huddlestone.

Alex Bruce received farewell messages for his father from a host of well-wishers on his Twitter account and responded: “Thanks for all the nice messages. I’ll pass them on.”

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