Financier Amanda Staveley has insisted that she remains interested in purchasing Newcastle United despite talks having broken down with Mike Ashley, the current owner of the English Premier League football club.
Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners firm was the only party to submit a bid for Newcastle after Ashley placed the club up for sale last October. A deal had been expected to be completed this month, but earlier this week it emerged that negotiations had collapsed.
A source close to Ashley told Sky Sports News this week that there is “no deal on the table or even under discussion with Amanda Staveley and PCP” and added that talks had proven to be “exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time”.
Staveley has moved to clarify that she is still keen on striking a deal and described the comments as “hugely hurtful”.
In an interview with UK newspaper The Times, Staveley said: “I’m very much still interested in buying Newcastle. And our bid remains on the table.”
She added: “I’m very concerned, I’m very surprised and I’m disappointed about what’s been said this week. The suggestion that we were either wasting time or not serious is absurd. It’s hurtful. Hugely hurtful.”
According to The Times, Staveley’s first bid was worth £300m (€340m/$416m), £200m of which was up front. The newspaper reported that the second bid, submitted on November 10, was worth £350m and included paid instalments. The offer included £150m on completion of the deal and £50m every year thereafter, with the final payment dependent on the club’s performance.
The Times added that the third offer was placed on November 17 and comprised £250m in full with no conditions or clauses, although Staveley is reportedly committed to providing a further £200m, at least £100m on new players across the first two transfer windows and the same amount on upgrading Newcastle’s training ground and academy.
“This is something we’ve been working really hard on,” Staveley said. “It’s not something we’ve just thrown together. I’m putting a lot of my own capital into this and our investors, who come from around the world, include sovereign wealth funds.”
Ashley bought Newcastle in 2007 and has proved a divisive figure among supporters due to a perceived lack of investment in the playing squad.
PCP Capital Partners, which controls substantial wealth in the Middle East, has shown an interest in purchasing Liverpool in the past and was also involved in Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of Premier League rival Manchester City in 2008.