Journalist claims why Staveley is NOT the answer in controversial takeover message to NUFC fans

Chief Sports Writer for the Daily Mail Martin Samuel has asked serious questions of Amanda Staveley’s ability take over from Mike Ashley, asking the potential NUFC owner ‘where is the money?’ after becoming unconvinced by her ability to pull of a deal and prove she has the money to buy and back Newcastle United.
He starts by suggesting that Mike Ashley is NOT the villain here. Hmm..
Samuel, in parts, may state what some are thinking. If financial backers, the ‘Reuben family’, are no longer interested in investing in her bid to buy Newcastle then who does she turn to next? That is a fair point given they were described as the driving force behind her £250m bid which is ‘still on the table’, however so much of this from Samuel appears to be biased and misguided. Does he actually think they are the only investors present in this? She has vast contacts in the Middle-East and they clearly extend far beyond that given the Reuben family’s involvement. 
He questions whether it is Staveley who is actually holding up a deal and failing to show proof of funds, but we’ve heard from both sides this week and it seems clear to me that there’s only one person who’s lying – and it’s not Amanda.
She has revealed the details of all THREE of her firm but fair offers. Some include clauses, caveats and all contain a need for Benitez to stay on as manager, however one all but promises Mike Ashley £300m (paid in instalments). Isn’t this what Ashley wanted?
The fact George Caulkin’s interview with Staveley highlights that Ashley claimed ‘another bidder’ had turned up and was ready to pay £350m in full just shows what a laughing stock Ashley can be at times. This came after her third bid by all accounts. Did he really think she was going to fall for that?! Staveley rightfully responded to this by asking ‘where are these bidders?’. They don’t exist if you ask me.
Ashley claimed that he was ready to allow someone to step into his shoes and take over NUFC if they stumped up the money and were able to take the club forward. I struggle to see how Staveley has not proved she is that person.
Anyhow, here’s Samuel’s assessment from the Daily Mail:

It has always been easy to think negatively of Mike Ashley. Sometimes, he makes it so. Other times, perceptions are manipulated — particularly those held by Newcastle fans.

Take the collapse of Amanda Staveley and PCP Capital Partners takeover deal. The script is Ashley standing in the way of progress. The reality: where’s the money?

Ashley is a villain on Tyneside and, no doubt about it, he has made mistakes throughout his time there. Maybe, most recently, he regrets allowing Staveley to be photographed so ostentatiously attending St James’ Park before the details of her proposal became known.

She is, at best, £50million short of the asking price and probably more. Yet in the time that elapsed between her first appearance and the breakdown of talks, she has been painted as something of a saviour. Her deal, along with the presence of Rafael Benitez as manager, will lead Newcastle to unimagined heights. But again: where’s the money?

When Sheikh Mansour bought Manchester City, when Roman Abramovich acquired Chelsea, it was quick. Not behind the scenes, no doubt, but between breaking ground and shaking hands was a metaphorical blink of an eye. That’s money.

The takeovers that drag on, that are everywhere, that appear in the press before reaching the negotiating table, where the buying party appears to need the support of popular opinion to force a sale, they are the ones that are rarely what they seem. 

This appears to be one of those deals. Stories of Staveley’s interest broke in October. Mid-January we would appear no further advanced. That isn’t simply due diligence. That is torpor of a kind that should trigger alarms.

We have Rafael Benitez and this opportunity to restore the club to its former glory with the best manager we could possibly get,’ said campaign group Ashley Out, after it was announced the deal was dead. ‘It cannot be allowed to fade away.’

But what cannot fade? What is there, for Newcastle, exactly? The money that is supposedly promised for transfers? Where is it? The Reuben family that are supposedly part of the consortium? Who says?

Not them. An official spokesman for Simon Reuben — with brother David, top of the Sunday Times Rich List in 2016 — was ‘pretty emphatic’ that the family were not investing, having looked at Newcastle. So where does that leave Staveley now? Indeed, where has her takeover been all along? 

Some will protest but what is there for Newcastle? Money promised for transfers, where is it?

Ashley bought the club in 2007 for £134m. He is believed to have then spent close to that again on other club projects and responsibilities — not including players. So £250m doesn’t really even get his money back. And that figure is what Staveley is believed to have offered. This could be why when Ashley walked away this week, he as good as called her a time-waster.

Whatever his faults, it is not for Ashley to sell Newcastle cut-price to allow the realisation of some specious dream. It might be your dream to live in a mansion but you still need the money to buy it. Ashley’s price is set at £350m. Staveley is £100m short, unless she can try to knock him down to £300m, and it would appear one of her main backers has pulled out. If the bid is already stretched at entry level, why would this be such a good deal for Newcastle?

Indeed, why would an investment group be appealing owners at all? They don’t invest for altruistic reasons but to make a profit. They are little different therefore, in essence, to Ashley. Staveley and PCP Capital would still be more interested in what came out, rather than what went in, for all the fanciful talk of transfer spending.

Indeed, Newcastle fans might find the new boss not too dissimilar to the old boss at all. They are not strangers to the Ashley model, most investors.

This thread below, for me, sums up Samuel’s piece and first paragraph perfectly:

Let us know your take on this folks. Is Staveley as unconvincing as Samuel paints her out to be, or is it Ashley that IS still the villain in all of this?

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at & we’ll get back to you!)


About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

5 thoughts on “Journalist claims why Staveley is NOT the answer in controversial takeover message to NUFC fans

  1. You ask is Amanda Staveley unconvincing or Mike Ashley the villain but I suspect that the real answer is a bit of both. I don’t share most people’s enthusiasm for an Amanda Staveley takeover as the difference in hers and Ashley’s valuations is small in current premier league terms. I agree with Samuel that there is a lot of vaguery about her proposed takover with lots of references to backers and sovereign wealth funds but little substantive detail and the only quotes in the press being from Reuben brother sources who confirm that they will definitely NOT be supporting a bid. Staveley expects to run the club as a business as widely quoted today and that is also what Ashley does. Her plans to invest £100m in the playing staff are also underwhelming given that it costs >£50m these days to buy a single player like Gylfi Siggurdson. The new TV rights should bring this amount in also so her proposed net spend doesn’t look a lot greater than Ashley’s to me. I would walk over broken glass to see the back of Ashley but I am afraid that I am far from convinced by the offer onthe table from Amanda Staveley.


  2. Ashley has hidden behind the lie of a lack of due diligence when he bought the club – resulting in major loans being required.

    Here we have a new investor who looks at a club which has had major under investment in it’s playing staff and commercial activities, is staring down another revenue reducing relegation and is under investigation by HMRC with unkown outcomes or penalties. The MD was arrested for heavens sake!

    Who in their right mind would simply hand over the sum requested by the current owner on that basis? Samuels, Sky and all of Ashley’s other cronies seem to completely avoid these issues and the fact he has completely and utterly failed to grow the club in any shape or form since he arrived.

    He wants a profit for balancing the books? Or a profit for the fact that all of the debt / loans will be entirely repaid to him on a sale? Do we ignore the fact he’s already repaid himself 29 mil he loaned after relegation 1 – but added the amount to club debt as a loan through his company St James Holdings?

    Unbelievable anyone can support this oaf.


  3. I would rather have Staveley than ashley any day don’t believe a thing that comes out of his mouth, we’ve had ten years of his lies and false promises,enough is enough it’s been the saddest ten years of my life seeing him ridicule our great club , it’s time for a change its time to go ashley, let her have the club, nobody can be worse than you


  4. Olly is spot on.
    Business deals that take time mostly unravel before they close. If Staverly is trying to bid her idea to wealthy investors and then do the deal with Ashley she has miss-timed it and given him the upper hand.

    Ashley LIVES TO DO DEALS Staverly is a relative amateur and has blown it. Let us stay up and look for a real buyer next season. I am afraid it will be thanks and goodbye to Raffa.


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