In a sit down exclusive with George Caulkin of The Times, Amanda Staveley spilled all of the tea concerning her attempts to buy Newcastle United. Staveley became the first of the two parties to actually be interviewed concerning the deal, and in this interview fans got a glimpse of how frustrating it is to negotiate with Mike Ashley.
The first thing of note from this piece by Caulkin is his notation of how connected and important of a woman Staveley is. He talks about photos with footballing legends such as sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and David Beckham, he goes on to talk about how PCP backs the Manchester United Foundations and finally he explains that Staveley is in the midst of negotiating 8 deals. In short, Caulkin demonstrates that Staveley is a businesswoman with a passion for football, exactly the type of owners the fans of Newcastle United FC deserve.
All of that said, Caulkin makes it clear that Staveley was just as confused as the fans were when she heard the reports that Mike Ashley had reportedly stated that her attempts to buy Newcastle United had “proved to be exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time”.
The day of that story breaking, other comments from anonymous sources close to the deal claimed that PCP never even placed a deal on the table and that Ashley had never seen a bid from PCP. PCP was quick to clap back stating that their most recent offer was still on the table.
Staveley then revealed to Caulkin the full history of the bids she has put in for 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
There are a few things to note from these offers The first being that they all require Rafa to stay on as manager, if there is no Rafa then there is no deal. It puts into perspective how important he is to the future of the club and the deal.
The second thing to note is that later on in the article, Staveley explains that her final bid also included a promise of at least £200m invested in the club, half of it going to transfers the other half to the academy. As many fans pointed out it is interesting that she did not come back with a £300m offer with a promise of £150m spent on transfers and the academy.
All rumoured figures but i'd rather Stavely/PCP up the offer from £250m and pay the £300m for us, even if that means we have £50m less in the transfer kitty, it would still be better than having to stay with Ashley for any longer #NUFC #SimplifiedMath— Adam Moores (@AdamMoores) January 19, 2018
Lastly, a big takeaway from the offers themselves is that they have been on the table for a while and yet, Mike Ashley had not communicated to Staveley until 2 days ago (publicly) that he was moving on from PCP. The most recent offer was made 2 weeks before the curry meal in London, and yet neither party brought anything new to the table even though the most recent offer had already been rejected. At this moment we don’t know if Ashley refuted the PCP offer with one of his own, but for the time being it is important to note that it has been two months since the last offer was made.
Caulkin shifts his attention to Staveley and her disappointment with Ashley’s comments. Staveley says she is “very concerned, I’m very surprised and I’m disappointed about what’s been said this week.” She goes on to say “The suggestion that we were either wasting time or not serious is absurd. It’s hurtful. Hugely hurtful”. Caulkin goes on to say Staveley has shown her interest and seriousness by placing 3 bids to help put Ashley out his 11 year term-of-misery, she engaged Chris Mort as her lawyer, a man who worked under Ashley. She has put her own reputation on the line, involving huge figures like the Reuben family and investing so much of her personal capital. Staveley seems as dedicated as any buyer, and more dedicated to the club than Ashley.
Caulkin’s article then goes on to reveal Staveley’s comments on PCP’s investment in Newcastle. Staveley says “This is an investment, but it has to be a long-term investment.” She goes on to say “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.” Staveley closes out the interview by praising Rafa, and stating how vital he is to the deal. Rafa is doing an incredible job,” Staveley says. “We want Rafa to be part of this project.”
Lastly, Caulkin gets Staveley’s thoughts on the events of December, particularly the emergence of a new investor. Staveley reveals that Mort was confident that a deal might be secured at £250 million. This was followed by a meal at the famous curry restaurant, where she first met Mike. Staveley reveals that she received news in December about another investor willing to pay £350 million for the club. Her comments on that are “Where are the other bidders? It’s been for sale for three months.” Staveley brings up a point, these “other bidders” were waiting on the PCP deal to fall through, and the eyes of Ashley it has. So, where is this £350 million offer?
For now, all we can do as fans is wait.
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