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Wigan chairman David Whelan
"I think he's made his mind up to go to a club in London"
 real 14k

Wigan's chief executive Brenda Spencer
"He said he was leaving to go to pastures new"
 real 14k

Thursday, 31 May, 2001, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Whelan hits out at Bruce departure
Steve Bruce has quit after short stay at Wigan
Steve Bruce has quit after short stay at Wigan
Wigan chairman David Whelan is upset at Steve Bruce's decision to quit Wigan in favour of Crystal Palace.

Bruce left the JJB Stadium having been in charge for less than two months.

He told Whelan and vice-chairman Duncan Sharpe at a meeting on Tuesday that he was leaving for a post at a First Division club.

Steve Bruce
Bruce barely got his feet under the table at Wigan
Whelan said: "He has decided that Palace have got the potential.

"They are in a division higher and he has decided that it is a step forward in his career."

Whelan had hoped to persuade Bruce to stay on at Wigan after he joined the club on a short term deal in succession to Bruce Rioch.

Whelan said: "He told me that he had thought about the move for over a week, and it was an offer he could not refuse.

"We didn't even have the chance to offer him a package with Wigan Athletic."

"I was going to offer him the same deal I offered Bruce Rioch, which was a very good deal, but I think he's made his mind up to go down to London.


I'm surprised because he's had a brilliant relationship with everyone - from myself and the board to the players and fans
  David Whelan
Wigan chairman

"I was very surprised at Steve's decision and I was surprised that he didn't listen to our offer because I had had some very positive meetings with him before he went on holiday.

"I knew that other clubs would approach him because the market is like that.

"I'm surprised because he's had a brilliant relationship with everyone - from myself and the board to the players and fans, who will be very disappointed at his decision.

"But how can you persuade someone to stay who doesn't want to?

Royle tipped for Wigan

"I was going to offer him a two to three-year contract but obviously he's made his mind up to go to pastures new."

Bruce was sacked as Huddersfield manager after securing just one win in the first 11 matches of last season.

He had hoped to secure promotion via the Play-Offs for Wigan, but they were beaten by Reading in the two-legged semi-finals.

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See also:

04 Apr 01 |  Wigan Athletic
Wigan appoint Bruce
06 Mar 01 |  Huddersfield Town
Bruce accused of 'wasting' 3m
21 Feb 01 |  QPR
QPR suffer Bruce snub
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