Amanda Staveley is acutely aware of Newcastle United’s recent shortcomings. In fact, she’s so aware that she is now reportedly asking for a relegation agreement — that was in the initial offer — in the buyout that offers financial reimbursement for money that may be lost during relegation. It makes Mike Ashley financially liable for financial losses if relegation is to occur, which is looking more possible by the week.
It’s a simple agreement, and one that makes immense financial sense. Newcastle United is a valuable football club. You can be sure that ticket sales won’t hurt, and that merchandise will always be there. But that’s not where the big money is nowadays. It’s in those fancy shmancy television deals that hand out hundreds of millions of pounds to Premier League clubs. Money that Amanda Staveley and her financial firm PCP Capital Partners may have to do without for a season or more if the club finds itself relegated for the second time in three years.
It’s an added complication to a buyout that has taken longer than fans wanted. After upping her offer to £300m, which is what Mike Ashley wanted, Staveley is now looking for further assurances that her investment will not be hurt by a relegation, which would surely be at the hands of Mike Ashley and his lack of investment in the club over the summer.
After Newcastle’s latest defeat at the hands of Arsenal, the magpies find themselves in the relegation zone. A place they never thought they’d be after a firecracker of a start this season. The thought that the club may not be in the Premier League next season isn’t going to stop Staveley from buying the club, she just wants assurances.
You can’t really blame her.
But it would appear that January’s transfer window is going to rely on Mike Ashley’s wallet. And with Benitez requesting three new players this winter, it’s going to be a bleak outcome.