Steve Bruce has Officially been named as Chris Hutchings’ successor in the Wigan Athletic hot seat. After a minor hiccup with a dispute over image right fees, Steve Bruce has finally signed on the dotted line, although his managerial duties will not start until Monday.

Wigan Athletic has confirmed that Steve Bruce has signed a contract to become the club’s new manager and will formally take up his new role on Monday, November 26th 2007.

He will therefore NOT be in charge of team affairs for the weekend’s trip to Arsenal although he will be attending the game to view first hand his new players in action.

The formalities of the deal were not concluded in time to allow him to have adequate time to take training on Friday and to prepare the team for the game and he felt that in the circumstances, it would be best to allow caretaker Manager Frank Barlow to remain in charge of team affairs for the match at The Emirates Stadium.

A press conference has been planned for Monday morning at the JJB Stadium to officially unveil him as manager.

Dave Whelan, on what is his birthday, has expressed his delight after confirming the appointment of Steve Bruce as manager.

Whelan announced at the start of the week that Bruce would be taking charge at The JJB Stadium after leaving his post at Birmingham.

The deal was then held up due to a financial issue between Bruce and Birmingham, but he has now put pen-to-paper and will officially become manager on Monday.

“Steve had been made a payment up front by (Birmingham managing director) Karren Brady and she’d forgotten about it and Steve had forgotten about it.”

“All the papers were here ready to sign on Wednesday, when Karren remembered that she had paid Steve this money and she’d already signed a clearance form saying the £3million covered all aspects of the transfer.”

“It was a genuine mistake but it took the solicitors quite a while to resolve things. Steve has now paid the money back, so he’s happy, Karren’s happy and I’m delighted.”

Bruce reigned over the last 8 matches of the 200/2001 season at Wigan which included the loss to Reading in the play off semi finals. Other results were; a 3-1 loss to Brentford, a 3-2 win at home to Oxford, 1-0 win away to Bury, 2-0 loss at home to Rotherham, 2-1 away win at Cambridge and a draw against Bristol City on the last day of the season.

We drew the first leg in the plays offs 0-0 before going out at the Madejski 2-1.

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