Amanda Staveley has made a £300million offer to buy Newcastle United – and plans to offer Rafa Benitez a further £300million to spend on transfers.
Divisive current owner Mike Ashley put the club up for sale earlier this week – but told any potential buyer that he would only sell the club to an owner who would pledge to pump money into the playing squad.
And the Daily Mail claims Ashley’s controversial decade-long ownership of the club could be about to come to an end, with British financier Staveley and her PCP Capital firm tabling a bid for ownership.
Ashley bought Newcastle for £134million in 2007 and values Newcastle at nearer the £400m mark, so the deal might need some tough negotiations before a compromise is reached.
The Sports Direct chief publicly put the club on the market for the second time this week.
“As one of the Premier League’s oldest and best supported clubs – and for the benefit of its many fans in the UK and across the world – Newcastle requires a clear direction and a path to a bright and successful future,” the club said in a statement.
“To give the club the best possible opportunity of securing the positioning and investment necessary to take it to the next level, at what is an important time in its history, its present ownership has determined that it is in the best interests of Newcastle for the club to be put up for sale.”
But he wants the deal done quickly with his lawyer hopeful of a sale before the new year.
“Our intentions are to see if the club can be bought by new ownership by potentially Christmas,” said Andrew Henderson. “That would allow seriously interested parties to put themselves forward. It would allow a diligence period to carry on then hopefully by Christmas a sale could conclude.”
Staveley was previously keen on buying Liverpool but has now turned her attention to Newcastle
She is backed by PCP Capital Partners, who have access to around £30billion from Asia and wants to turn Newcastle into the next Manchester City.
Yorkshire-born Staveley, 44, was a key player in Sheik Mansour’s acquisition of Manchester City in 2008 and is known to be keen on football assets.