In her first interview since registering an interest in the club, Amanda Staveley has insisted that she is NOT a time -waster and remains seriously interested in completing a takeover for Newcastle United – confirming that an offer is still on the table for Mike Ashley following PCP’s THREE bids thus far.
As revealed via this big exclusive interview in the Times, she has also disclosed the details behind the THREE bids PCP have submitted since the club was put up for sale last October:
- £300m, first bid, November 2: £200m on completion. £50m July 1 2018, £50m July 1 2019 — neither paid in the event of relegation. Benítez to stay as manager. Penalty clauses in the event of HMRC fine.
- £350m, second bid, November 10: £150m on completion. £50m January 1 2020 £50m January 1 2021 £50m January 1 2022 £50m in the event of qualifying for the Champions League. Benítez to stay as manager. Penalty clauses in the event of relegation and HMRC fine.
- £250m, third bid, November 17: £250m payable in full. Benítez to stay as manager. No clauses
During her big interview with The Times’ George Caulkin, Staveley also admits that the statement from Mike Ashley’s camp on Tuesday was ‘hugely hurtful and absurd’, firing back at claims that talks had become ‘exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time’.
Here’s her response to those claims from Ashley:
“I’m very much still interested in buying Newcastle – and our bid remains on the table.”
“I’m very concerned, I’m very surprised and I’m disappointed about what’s been said this week,”
“The suggestion that we were either wasting time or not serious is absurd. It’s hurtful. Hugely hurtful,”
Interestingly, Caulkin describes her to seem ‘agitated’ and ‘clearly upset’ as she explained the above to him.
“This is something we’ve been working really hard on,”
“It’s not something we’ve just thrown together. I’m putting a lot of my own capital into this and our investors, who come from around the world, include sovereign wealth funds.”
Staveley then revealed just what it was about Newcastle United that appealed to her, admitting that the passionate fans, the northern connection, the club’s magic history and her love for football are key reasons behind her interest:
“They’re such passionate fans and it’s a great club,”
“I’m a northerner. My family home is an hour away from St James’ Park.
“I just love football and Newcastle has a proper history and a real magic.”
“That passion of the fans is vitally important when you’re looking at a club, because you know that you’re a custodian.
“I’m also a passionate believer in investment in the north east, because I know it’s tough.
“A lot of great things are happening in the city — we’ve got friends, like the Reubens, who have invested there — and it’s a really special place, with its own identity. It is absolutely unique.”
She then discussed PCP Capital Partners and her plans for NUFC, also confirming that the incredible Rafa Benitez would be a big part of this project:
“This is an investment, but it has to be a long-term investment,”
“Newcastle would be run as a business, but we want it to be a successful, thriving business that is an absolutely integral part of the city.”
“Rafa is doing an incredible job – we want Rafa to be part of this project.”
Staveley then touched on the ‘famous’ Curry house meeting with Mike Ashley (shared by the Sun), revealing that this is the only time she has met the NUFC owner – despite admitting to him being good company.
“The famous curry house is the only time I’ve met Mike,”
“It wasn’t a formal meeting and it was arranged by Mr Desmond.
“Mike was engaging and interesting. I enjoyed his company.”
On the pictures of her and Ashley outside the curry house, George then asked “And those photographs? Convenient, no?”, to which she responded:
“I would never had done that,”
“If I had, I certainly wouldn’t have been pictured smoking. I hadn’t had a cigarette for years. My dad nearly killed me!
“There has been a lot of miscommunication through the press, but that’s not my fault. This is football.”
George then goes on to reveal that she was told ‘another bidder’ had entered the fray in December, with Ashley claiming they were prepared to pay the full £350m. Caulkin then states how her party responded; “Fine, PCP said, but come back to us if you want to re-engage. Since then, they have heard nothing. Not a single thing.” To all of this, Staveley said:
“Where are the other bidders?”
“It’s been for sale for three months.”
And finally, Staveley’s response when George asked ‘will it happen?’:
“I don’t know”
“I hope so..”
So, despite Tuesday’s crushing claims from Ashley’s camp, Staveley’s bid is still on the table, her interest remains and she doesn’t appear to be going anywhere – however it seems clear that she must up her bid in some way if she plans to move things on with Ashley?
She comes across well and, in my opinion, has really shown Ashley up here. He won’t like that however, so whether this ends up working in her favour is open to debate!
Still, great to hear from the potential new buyer of NUFC and positive to hear that her interest is genuine and has anything but ended.
CLICK HERE to read George Caulkin’s full piece with Staveley in the Times.