Amanda Staveley breaks silence on bid for Newcastle
Amanda Staveley has broken her silence on her bid for Newcastle United '“ after Mike Ashley walked away from talks.
Ashley this week labelled talks with Staveley and PCP Capital Partners as a "waste of time".
Staveley's most recent bid, a one-off payment of Â£250million, was rejected by Newcastle owner Ashley.
The financier has spoken to The Times about her interest in buying the club, which was put up for sale by Ashley in October.
“I’m very much still interested in buying Newcastle,” said Staveley. “And our bid remains on the table.”
A source close to Ashley said this week: “It is only right to let the fans know that there is no deal on the table or even under discussion with Amanda Staveley and PCP.
"Attempts to reach a deal have proved to be exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time."
Staveley has described those comments as "absurd and hurtful".
"I’m very concerned," she said. "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."
Staveley says she had backing from investors around the world, including "sovereign wealth funds".
"This is something we’ve been working really hard on,” said Staveley, who is reportedly committed to investing at least Â£100million on players across the first two transfer windows.
“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."
Staveley, originally from Yorkshire, says Newcastle is a "special place".
"They’re such passionate fans and it’s a great club,” she said. “I’m a northerner. My family home is an hour away from St James’s Park.
"I just love football and Newcastle has a proper history and a real magic.
“That passion of the fans is vitally important when you’re looking at a club, because you know that you’re a custodian.
"I’m also a passionate believer in investment in the North East, because I know it’s tough.
"A lot of great things are happening in the city – we’ve got friends, like the Reubens, who have invested there – and it’s a really special place, with its own identity. It is absolutely unique.”
Staveley wants manager Rafa Benitez to spearhead her proposed "project".
"Rafa's doing an incredible job," said Staveley. "We want Rafa to be part of this project."