Amanda Staveley has admitted that the ‘passionate fans’, the northern connection, the club’s ‘magic’ history and her love for football are key reasons behind her interest in buying NUFC – with her also offering an insight into her plans for Benitez & the club if she were to take over.
This all comes from the Yorkshirewoman’s fascinating in-depth interview with George Caulkin from the Times (see full interview here), where Staveley admitted that she remains interested in buying NUFC despite Tuesday night’s setback.
This is the first time we’ve heard from her since she launched a bid to buy us at the back end of last year, and although the takeover is currently in doubt, she comes across very well and offers us hope for the future if a deal can be resurrected.
Here’s what she had to say when asked why it’s Newcastle United she’s decided to pursue:
“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.”
I love this. She will obviously be looking to say the right things in such a public interview (and her first since launching a bid), but she comes across much more genuine and in it for the right reasons than Ashley ever has (not that that’s much of an achievement!). Still, I like the sound of her story and the way she talks about us, our club and the region. You get the feeling she ‘gets it’ more than most in her position would.
Staveley then touched on PCP Capital Partners and her plans for NUFC – also confirming that Rafa Benitez would be a big part of her planned project if she were to take over:
“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.”
Sounds goo to me. She comes across well and says all the right things.
During his fascinating piece for the Times, George Caulkin admitted that her latest £250m up-front offer to Ashley may fall short of his £350m valuation, but suggested why, in another sense, it doesn’t. Here’s what he added regarding Staveley’s plans for NUFC:
“Staveley is committed to investing another £200 million, at least £100 million on new players across the first two transfer windows and the same again on improving a tired training ground and ineffective academy.”
Interesting. Ashley said he’d only sell us to a new owner who could take the club forward. This, to me, sounds like progression and exactly the sort of thing Benitez will be hoping for at Newcastle United.
Time will tell – will Staveley up her bid or will Ashley buckle? That may well be the £300m question.