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His dismissal of Jan Bednarek for Southampton earlier in the week, in a 9-0 defeat at Manchester United, was also rescinded on appeal.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

  • BREAKING NEWS: Martial seals Man Utd exit with Sevilla loan BREAKING NEWS: Martial seals Man Utd exit with Sevilla loan

    Anthony Martial will play the remainder of the 2021-22 season on loan in LaLiga with Sevilla after falling out of favour at Manchester United.

    France international Martial has reportedly taken a pay cut to join the Andalusian club, who it is said will pay €6million for salary and a loan fee combined.

    United interim boss Ralf Rangnick revealed last month that Martial had asked to leave the club in January after struggling for first-team football following a return from injury.

    Rangnick then claimed in the wake of United's 2-2 Premier League draw with Aston Villa that Martial was not with the squad because he "didn't want" to be involved – the forward refuted those claims.

    While Rangnick drew a line under the situation, he hinted United were negotiating exits for several players ahead of the transfer deadline, and Sevilla's tactic of playing the long game has paid off.

    LaLiga's second-placed side were linked with Martial last month, but reports suggested they could not get anywhere near the player's wage demands, and United were seemingly unwilling to lower their own demands.

    But a breakthrough in negotiations has seen the clubs reach an agreement that Sevilla will hope significantly boosts their chances in LaLiga's title race.

    After 22 matches played, Sevilla are just four points behind leaders Real Madrid.

    Throughout January, they have been linked with forwards due to injuries and a general lack of goals scored – their 34 in LaLiga is the fewest of those in the top four and 13 behind Madrid's tally.

    Rafa Mir is their top scorer in the league despite a fairly underwhelming total of six in 20 appearances, with the pre-season arrival from Wolves struggling to pick up the slack for Youssef En-Nesyri, who has been absent through injury and Africa Cup of Nations duty.

    Sevilla will hope Martial can hit the ground running after the international break, but he may be lacking match sharpness given he has played the full 90 minutes of a game once all season and has played just eight minutes of football since Rangnick's first match in charge in early December.

  • Morocco 2-1 Malawi: Hakimi stunner sends Atlas Lions through to AFCON quarter-finals Morocco 2-1 Malawi: Hakimi stunner sends Atlas Lions through to AFCON quarter-finals

    Morocco booked their place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals as Achraf Hakimi's stunning free-kick sealed a 2-1 win over Malawi.

    The Paris Saint-Germain full-back struck 20 minutes from time at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo after Youssef En-Nesyri cancelled out Gabadinho Mhango's magnificent early effort.

    After scraping through Group B in third place, Malawi were making their first appearance in the AFCON knockout stages.

    The Flames took a surprise lead in the seventh minute, Mhango catching Yassine Bounou off his line with a wonderful 40-yard lob.

    Morocco had only lost one of their previous 11 games when facing an opponent in the competition for the first time.

    Vahid Halilhodzic's side equalised in first-half stoppage time as En-Nesyri headed home from Selim Amallah's deep cross.

    The contest looked possibly set for extra time until Hakimi emphatically beat Charles Thomu from 30 yards to send his nation through to the last eight, where they will face Ivory Coast or Egypt.

  • Watford appoint Hodgson as Ranieri successor Watford appoint Hodgson as Ranieri successor

    Watford have appointed former England boss Roy Hodgson as their new manager.

    Hodgson, 74, takes over from Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked on Monday after just three months in the role.

    Ray Lewington, who was Watford boss from 2002 to 2005 and has worked extensively as Hodgson's assistant manager, has also joined the club.

    Hodgson's coaching career stretches back to 1976, when he took charge of Swedish side Halmstad for four years.

    His club career has seen him manage teams ranging from Inter, Liverpool and Udinese to Blackburn Rovers and Neuchatel Xamax, while he has also coached the national teams of Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Finland.

    A fan favourite at Fulham after leading them to the Europa League final in 2010, Hodgson became England boss two years later, reaching the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.

    His Three Lions tenure proved disappointing on the big stage, though, with England exiting the 2014 World Cup at the group stage before being knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland, after which he left the role.

    A four-year spell back in the Premier League with Crystal Palace followed, with Hodgson ensuring their survival after they lost the first seven games of the 2017-18 season before guiding them to 49 points in 2018-19, equalling their best ever tally.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.