GARY NEVILLE has accused Newcastle’s new Saudi Arabian owners of “employment abuse” for not clarifying Steve Bruce’s position as manager.
The under-fire Toon boss has been expecting the sack ever since the Saudi Public Investment Fund bought Newcastle for £300million from Mike Ashley alongside Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers on October 7.
Bruce called for his new bosses to sort out his future after Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Tottenham left Newcastle winless after eight games.
Neville’s colleague Jamie Carragher blasted the owners’ “really poor” first week for “messing up” the Geordie’s situation.
And on Monday Night Football, the Salford City chief said: “I was sacked as a manager – it happens. I’ve sacked managers.
“It’s not a nice thing to do, but you do it, you pay them up, you know they’re in a difficult job, they respect you for that, you respect them for that.
“This thing with Steve Bruce is totally wrong. If this was any other industry, if this was any other walk of life, it would be classed as employment abuse.
“The employer would be in serious trouble. You’ve got to show and demonstrate decency.”
The defeat to Spurs made it just seven wins from 38 games, with the Toon Army again calling for Bruce to leave.
The ex-Manchester United skipper, 60, is in line for a bumper £8million pay-off if and when the Saudis wield the axe.
And Neville hit out at Ashley’s successor for using Bruce as a “shield” from fan criticism.
He added: “It’s not just these owners, it’s the one before who had him as a lamb to the slaughter and an umbrella for them to stop the rain coming down on their heads.
“Steve Bruce needs clarity, but think about that in your own walk of life, if you’re a lawyer, an accountant or an electrician, and you’re being treated like this.
“I’m not talking about the criticism from the Newcastle fans. I’m talking about the ongoing situation – the leaks, the things that happened in the last week, two weeks, four weeks, six weeks.
“It’s not fair on a brilliant man. A great football man, a great player, a manager who has played 1000 games – he deserves to be treated with decency.
“If you’re going to sack him, pay him up the full money. Don’t resist it, do the right thing and move on.
“If you’re not going to sack him, tell him and at least be clear about what you’re going to do so at least the fans can start having a go at you.
“Stop using Steve Bruce as a shield for the criticism at that football club.”
Fellow pundit Carragher added that Toon’s new owners need to act like a “proper organisation”.
The Liverpool legend said: “The ownership have had a really poor week.
“Newcastle supporters are delighted. But they’ve messed up the managerial situation right away – if you’re going to sack Bruce, then sack him.
“You come in as a proper organisation and run that club right, from top to bottom.