Amanda Staveley dialogue revealed as Newcastle United fans launch ambitious campaign in hope of takeover
Amanda Staveley was “enthused” about fan involvement in Newcastle United after agreeing a £300million deal for the club.
The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) are leading a new campaign, named 1892 Pledge, to raise money to give fans a small share in the club.
It’s hoped that supporters can raise at least £3million to buy a stake in the club when it’s sold by owner Mike Ashley, who is trying to resurrect a proposed sale to the consortium led by Staveley through legal action.
NUST chair Greg Tomlinson said: “For decades, fans have been told they are the lifeblood of the club, but when major decisions are made, they are always left out.
“It’s an unfortunate fact that in football, as in life, money talks. Therefore, we feel that if we as fans really want to be an active part of conversations that will dictate the future of Newcastle United, we have to put our money where our mouth is.
“Raising funds will give us the financial backing to make our voices properly heard as and when the club is eventually sold.”
NUST spoke to Staveley last summer while the Premier League were considering the proposed takeover, which was backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
The idea of a fan stake was not discussed at the time, though Staveley was “positive” about supporter involvement in the club, according to Hurst.
NUST board member Alex Hurst was asked whether there was a guarantee of a stake in the club should the Staveley-led takeover eventually go through.
“No, not at all,” said Hurst. “We’re trying to be clear about that. This is an ambition, and a hope of ours. Nothing is guaranteed.
“We spoke with Amanda Staveley last summer, haven’t spoken to her since.
"She was very positive about fan involvement, engagement, whatever you want to call it. She was very grateful for what the Supporters Trust did in terms of 8,000 emails to MPs that got us in front of (Premier League chief executive) Richard Masters to ask questions about their takeover.
“We’re concentrating on supporters at the minute. This is about fans. What we have to do is get this launched, and if Amanda Staveley or other potential new owners want to find us, we’re not hard to contact. We’re always open to conversations.
Asked about NUST’s dialogue with Staveley, Hurst added: “It was kind of non-specific. At the time, there was a conversation (along the lines of) ‘what we can do to help you as a Supporters Trust whose membership was 97% behind the takeover?’.
"We wanted to find out how we could help the people who were trying to buy the club.
"The one thing they told us was that they wanted some answers from the Premier League, so we mobilsed our members to try and get those answers, and we did get some answers, even though they might not have been the answers people wanted.
"She was just very enthused about the trust and the work we’ve done. She seemed positive to continue that relationship should they assume control.”