A glimmer of hope? Perhaps.
This past weekend brought a familiar theme on the pitch for Newcastle United, with another strong effort unfortunately not being rewarded with points. Off the pitch, the latest chapter in the story of the club’s takeover was written in a very bold ink.
The Times’ exclusive interview with Amanda Staveley was both fascinating and engaging, offering Newcastle fans their first glimpse of the “other side” in terms of negotiations. There has always been information out there, but few could ever confirm if it was credible.
In the piece that ran on Friday, Staveley clarified several aspects of the proposed deal and what has truly been happening behind the scenes.
Three separate bids
When Mike Ashley first announced his intentions to sell the club, £350 million was believed to be the approximate number. Not only did he receive that offer from Staveley and PCP Capital Partners, but there were two other bids as well.
All three were sent in November. However, they did not satisfy what Ashley is looking for.
The manager is key
Another interesting aspect of the official offers for the Magpies is that all of them involved manager Rafa Benitez staying on Tyneside. The potential new ownership group recognises his ability and massive influence, and certainly do not want him leaving.
Considering his own disappointments during the summer and in the current transfer window, supporters may worry that the Spanish tactician reaches a point where he needs immediate answers or he walks away.
The emotion of it all
It was easy to look at the situation as strictly business, and all involved as somewhat cold individuals.
However, that is not the case with Staveley. In response to being labelled as “time-wasters”, she described the comments as “hurtful and absurd”. The 44-year-old wants this purchase to happen, and that is a bit of hope that all is not lost just yet.
Newcastle United are still under the control of Mike Ashley. But with grit and determination on their end, PCP Capital Partners and Amanda Staveley may still have the ability to change that fact.