Thu 02 March 2023 | 21:00

Newcastle director reveals why Saudi owners didn't buy Chelsea

Staveley partnered with Saudi investors and purchased the Magpies in October 2021 for around £300 million. She reveals why they decided to invest in Newcastle rather than Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham.

Newcastle United director Amanda Staveley told the

Financial Times Business of Football Summit:


I think if we look specifically at Newcastle, we were very clear that prior to buying the club, we wanted a club with a very passionate fanbase.

"But we also wanted a club that we could buy affordably, because we're also partners with PIF and they are, effectively, a pension fund, managing money for future generations.

"So we wanted something that was very sustainable, and that we could build. We didn't go for the wonderful Tottenham and Chelsea and Liverpool and obviously, everybody knows I was a massive Liverpool fan.

"We tried to buy Liverpool, and when we walked into the Newcastle game, we said 'why spend x billion when you can actually spend 300 and some million and put in?' I think we've put in £200+ [million] to date of new money since we bought the club. We had a particular business plan based on a five, 10, 15-year timeline.

"Critical to that plan was making sure we had the right partners...PIF are very long term investors."

Explaining why the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia is unlikely to invest on another Premier League club, Staveley added:

"Mehrdad [Ghodoussi, co-owner and Staveley's husband] and I are not wealthy.

"Jamie [Reuben, co-owner] obviously is an extraordinarily wealthy gentleman, we're the poor partner, but that helps govern a lot of the decisions – so there's no scenario where Saudi Arabia will decide to sell Newcastle to buy one of the mega clubs like Manchester United."

About the challenges they faced since purchasing the clubs, she added:

"If I did it all again. I think we should have probably brought in more people more quickly.

"Players or staff... the players we had to be just very careful and analytical on everything we did and we still do that.

"Because we have an FFP budget we keep to... that guided a lot of our transfer policy but we couldn't afford to have a dud player. And so we had to make sure that we built at the back so that we [could] start to play the football that Eddie wants to play, this fantastic pressing football that we love and exciting attacking football.

"But to do that we needed to make sure that we could really strengthen because we had, I think, the weakest defence in the whole league, and now we have one of the strongest. And that was really important.

"So we always want more players. But the problem is, especially when you're running a football club, you don't really want to lose the players that you've worked with, and Eddie's the same, and so it's really difficult. So we've got to do that."



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source: Financial Times

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