Bruce was appointed as NUFC manager on a three-year deal this week, but he will have to wait until next Tuesday to take charge of his first game.
After securing the job, Bruce was flown out to China to meet with his squad who are currently taking part in the Premier League Asia Trophy.
And after taking his first training sessions with the team, many NUFC fans expected that tomorrow’s match in Shanghai would be Bruce’s first in the dugout.
But due to his late appointment, the new gaffer was unable to secure a work visa, and has had to settle for a 72-hour tourist visa.
This means he has failed to gain clearance for work in China and will not be allowed to manage Newcastle from the side-lines.
Instead, Bruce will have to watch his new team from the stands.
It’s not exactly the start he would have hoped for and he will now have to wait until 30th July for his first match, a pre-season friendly with Hibernian.
So in short, Newcastle United have sent their new manager all the way to China, for just three days, to prepare for a game he can’t even be in charge of.
It’s the daftest start to a managerial career you could imagine.
Understandably, Bruce and the club had no choice, as any new manager must be fully committed to the job on appointment.
But the timing of his employment has meant Bruce can not be as hands on as he would have liked.
Visa gaffe working in his favour?
Newcastle United’s horrendous opening game of the PL Asia Trophy saw them hammered 4-0 by Wolves in a dismal performance.
That match was the semi-final of the pre-season tournament, and the Toon will now face West Ham in a third-placed play-off tomorrow.
But given how woeful their opening performance was, being in the stands might be the best thing for Bruce.
Should Newcastle once again suffer a humiliating defeat, at least Bruce has the option to distance himself a little.
His first real tests will come against Hibernian at the end of the month, where the scrutiny will be unavoidable.
Let’s hope he can steady the ship.