'We're not going to give up' – Amanda Staveley makes strong comments on arbitration hearing that will decide Newcastle United's takeover fate
Amanda Staveley is ‘not going to give up' on the collapsed takeover of Newcastle United as she reiterated her call for transparency in relation to sporting governance and arbitration ahead of the hearing against the Premier League.
Newcastle do not yet have a date for the arbitration hearing which will decide whether last summer’s proposed £300million sale to a consortium led by Staveley and backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund can be resurrected.
The club issued a statement calling for the hearing to be held in public which was then backed by Staveley in a letter to MP Tracey Crouch, who is leading a review on football governance.
Speaking on Sky Sports News, Staveley said: "Transparency is at the heart of our request, so transparency in sport is really what we're trying to seek.
"I contacted both Oliver Dowden and Nigel Huddlestone, I sent a letter to them earlier this afternoon [Monday], we haven't received a response but Tracey responded to us very quickly.
"We asked Mr Dowden to take the same issues I raised in the letter with Tracey to the government's heart and we want to urge the government to add their voice to our request to the Premier League to have these processes maybe in public.
"We know nothing about the arbitration, we can't be part of the arbitration and we don't know what's going on.
“By having it in a public forum we have a chance to understand what's going on and how we deal with that.
"I don't understand why there is an issue about transparency around all major businesses.
"I have to first of all say that I am a huge fan of the Premier League and naturally I am trying to become a part of that institution.
"We should be very proud of the Premier League, but with an institution which is as important to Britain and the UK, transparency around the decision that regulators make is important.
"We will never be able to see what goes on behind the scenes unless journalists and particularly the fans are able to really examine the materials held in these forums.”
Staveley also admitted her sympathy for current Newcastle owner Mike Ashley who has so far been unsuccessful in his attempt to sell the club.
"I can absolutely sympathise with Mike's position," Staveley added. "He's worked tirelessly to try and sell the club, he made a very public statement, I remember two years ago seeing him on Sky thinking 'okay, there's a real chance for us to buy Newcastle'.
"He said 'I will sell the club, I need to have a buyer with deep pockets, it's not really about the cash in my pockets, it's about who will put the cash in Newcastle's pockets'.
"So he's done exactly what the fans urged him to do, but he can't get there. I feel disappointed because I also said to him when we struck a legal deal in April last year, and here we are some 15 months later and we're still not there. I understand his position.
"I am tenacious if nothing else. We believe this is very important for Newcastle and the fans and we're not going to give up – we don't ever give up.”