Following today’s claims from the Shields Gazette and The Chronicle that Mike Ashley is now ready to lower his asking price to around £300m, there’s one big question that immediately entered my mind – surely Amanda Staveley will be reigniting her interest?
It’s been said on several occasions since talks ‘broke down’ in January that Staveley still retains a real interest in NUFC – but not if Ashley continues to demand the rumoured £380-£400m.
If his demands have now changed (and today’s news suggests they have), surely both her and PCP will be ready to rekindle their interest.
As highlighted by The Times’ George Caulkin back in January (when talks ended up breaking down), these are the three offers that herself and PCP are believed to have submitted in a bid to buy the club:
- £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.
It’s reported that all three were turned down, but Ashley’s latest change of heart suggests a deal may now be possible between the pair.
When addressing the takeover last week in a Q&A for The Chronicle, Mark Douglas insisted that Staveley’s interest was very much alive, however she was banking on Ashley reducing his demands – having no intention to pay the reported £400m asking price.
If today’s news regarding a reduced price tag is true, we may be about to see her true colours. If she really does want to go ahead and buy the club, surely she will step forward and make a renewed attempt to meet Ashley’s far more reasonable demands?