Newcastle’s academy director Joe Joyce is stood down from role after his wife raised dispute with the club over treatment of their son while he played for Under 18s… with club legend Steve Harper taking interim charge
- Joe Joyce’s son, Sam, suffered a recurrence of an injury picked up at Newcastle
- His mother believes that the treatment of the injury at the club was not sufficient
- Joyce has been temporarily removed from his academy role during the dispute
- Sportsmail understands there is also issues over their son’s academy education
Joyce, 59, is one of the club’s longest-serving employees after 15 years as head of the youth set-up.
First-team coach Steve Harper has been placed in interim charge of the academy, meaning that under-fire Magpies boss Steve Bruce has lost his services.
Newcastle academy chief Joe Joyce has been stood down with his wife in dispute with the club
Joyce’s son, Sam, was an under-18s player in the academy before his release in 2019. The 20-year-old midfielder is now enrolled on a soccer scholarship in the United States.
However, it is understood that his mother brought a dispute against Newcastle after the recurrence of an injury suffered while Sam was playing for the club. Sportsmail has been told she believes the treatment of that injury on Newcastle’s watch was not sufficient.
There is also an issue over her son’s academic education while in the academy. It is thought legal action has been discussed.
The mother of Joyce’s son, Sam, thinks the treatment of an injury at the club was not sufficient
Joyce has been temporarily removed from his position and his club phone has been switched off this week. It is not known if he supports his wife’s claims. Newcastle did not comment.
Harper, the former goalkeeper who spent 20 years as a player, has relocated to the club’s academy base and is no longer assisting Bruce. He would be in line to take the job on a permanent basis were Joyce not to return.
That would safeguard his future at Newcastle – with Bruce’s own position under threat amid a run of 12 defeats in 16 matches.
He retains the support of the club’s hierarchy – at least for now – but another loss at home to Wolves on Saturday would amplify calls for him to be sacked. Newcastle are three points above 18th-placed Fulham, who travel to Crystal Palace on Sunday.
First-team coach Steve Harper has now been placed in interim charge of the club’s academy
Bruce, bizarrely, has played down the influence of tactics during the run-in – instead claiming that players make the difference.
His comments come after a week in which striker Callum Wilson praised the impact of new assistant boss Graeme Jones and supporters unfurled a banner outside St James’ Park depicting Bruce as the joker in a pack of playing cards.
They again called for owner Mike Ashley to remove the manager.
The bulk of the criticism centres around submissive performances and Bruce’s failure to implement an identifiable style of play during his 19 months in charge.
His weekly soundbites in pre-match press conferences are also a source of annoyance and disbelief among fans, and his claims regarding tactics have not been well received.
Newcastle supporters unveiled a banner depicting Steve Bruce as the joker in a pack of cards
Bruce said: ‘Did you see Pep Guardiola this week? He was asked about tactics.
‘He said: “Yeah, we’ve invested a lot of money”. How fitting that was, because you can talk about tactics as much as you like, it’s all about players.
’And, of course, when you’re up against it you need a bit of luck on your side.’
Bruce also believes media coverage of his team’s predicament is over the top given the number of clubs still involved in the fight for survival.
Bruce’s own position at the helm of the club is under threat due a run of 12 losses in 16 matches
‘We’re not alone, I must stress this. It seems that Newcastle are the only ones in it,’ he said.
‘At the bottom end there are six or seven nervously looking over their shoulder.
‘Can we finish above them? I’m quietly confident.
‘Fulham have won two in a week. Before that, they had won two in six months.’