LONDON (Reuters) – Amanda Staveley, the architect of the Saudi Arabia-led consortium which completed a 300 million-pound ($408.42 million)takeover of Newcastle United on Thursday, said the goal was to put the under-achieving club at the top of the Premier League.
“Newcastle United deserve to be top of the Premier League. We want to get there. It will take time but we will get there,” Staveley, chief executive of PCP Capital Partners who have taken a 10% share in the club, said after the completion of a deal that ends Mike Ashley’s trophyless 14-year ownership.
Staveley, the 48-year-old Cambridge graduate who was involved in the Abu Dhabi takeover of Manchester City in 2008, met fans outside the Jesmond Dene Hotel where the consortium, led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), had awaited news that the Premier League had ratified the deal.
“It’s taken us four years to get to where we are today,” Staveley said. “We want to do a review of the business, but we are here to invest, we are patient, PIF is an autonomous commercially-driven investment fund, and with Jamie Reuben we are here to make sure we are the best custodians of the club.
“You are the best fans, the greatest fans in the world.”
Staveley said the last 48 hours had been “exhausting” and that work would begin straight away on a thorough review of the club’s playing and commercial operations.
But she would not be drawn on whether big-name players would be arriving in January or whether manager Steve Bruce, whose side are second-bottom of the Premier League after no wins in seven games, would be the man to take the club forward.
“We are really excited about strengthening the squad but we have to work within financial fairplay and make sure this is done over a longer term,” Staveley said. “But we want to get the best at every level and get the best that we possibly can.
“What you also need is a team that works together.”
On the 60-year-old Bruce, who took charge in 2019, she said: “I said hello and we introduced ourselves and we look forward to talking to him over the next few days.
“We are very supportive of Steve and what we are not going to do is talk about managers or big signings. We will do a review right through all the football operations.”
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF who will take an 80% stake in the club, thanked Newcastle’s fans.
“We are extremely proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most famous clubs in English football,” Al-Rumayyan, who will take up his role as Newcastle’s Non-Executive Chairman, said in a statement.
“We thank the Newcastle fans for their tremendously loyal support over the years. We’re excited to work together with them.”
Staveley will have a seat on the Newcastle board while Reuben, whose RB Sports & Media business will have a 10% stake, will become a director of the club.
($1 = 0.7345 pounds)
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)