Amanda Staveley explains THAT curry house meeting with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley
Amanda Staveley has explained her infamous curry house meeting with Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.
Would-be buyer Staveley, Ashley and mutual friend Richard Desmond, a newspaper publisher, were photographed leaving a London restaurant last month.
And news of the meeting raised hopes on Tyneside that a deal to sell the club was close.
However, Ashley this week walked away from talks with financier Staveley.
As indicated by sources close to Ashley, it wasn't a formal meeting, and Staveley has revealed that it was set up by Desmond.
“The famous curry house is the only time I’ve met Mike,” Staveley told The Times. “It wasn’t a formal meeting, and it was arranged by Mr Desmond. Mike was engaging and interesting. I enjoyed his company.”
Photographs of the trio leaving the Hampstead restaurant were not published in a newspaper owner by Desmond.
Instead, they first appeared in The Sun. Had Staveley – who was pictured smoking a cigarette – arranged for a photographer to be outside?
“I would never had done that,” said Staveley. “If I had, I certainly wouldn’t have been pictured smoking.
"I hadn’t had a cigarette for years. My dad nearly killed me. There has been a lot of miscommunication through the press, but that’s not my fault. This is football.”
Staveley says her Â£250million bid for the club, which was put up for sale by Ashley in October, "remains on the table".