Newcastle United fans have been left feeling “confused and heartbroken” at the collapse of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund backed takeover bid to oust Mike Ashley from his ownership. Since the Saudi sovereign wealth fund pulled out of the deal, Amanda Staveley, who was the face of the bid and would have had a small stakeholding in the club revealed the scale of investment which the new owners were prepared to pump into the Newcastle.
The British dealmaker claimed, “we had a plan for £250m of investment in the club over the first few years, as much as we could have put in”. Just in case anyone doubted her comments after the unsuccessful bid, Lazio striker Ciro Immobile, valued at £36m (Transfermarkt), has backed up Staveley’s remarks in an interview.
Based on the words of European Golden Shoe winner, it does not appear the Magpies would have been messing around in the market if the deal to change ownership at St James’ Park had been approved. He said, “During the period in which there was talk of the possible purchase of Newcastle by the Sheikh’s fund they called my agent, Alessandro Moggi”.
The 30-year-old also revealed, “I know they were also looking for an Italian coach, [Massimiliano] Allegri or [Luciano] Spalletti”. However, those appointments have been resigned to nothing more than fantasy, after the Public Investment Fund pulled out of the deal.
Instead, the reality of the bleak situation for the Toon is that Newcastle will be left with £35m, plus any money generated from player sales, as Steve Bruce’s kitty in the summer transfer window. Instead of a striker who bagged an astonishing 36 goals to win the European Golden Shoe this season, the Magpies are reportedly attempting to attract Irish international and free agent Jeff Hendrick.
The difference between the reality for Newcastle, who appear to be feeding off the scraps of other clubs, having reportedly also held an interest in another free agent Ryan Fraser, and what could have been for the Magpies is stark. The Italian international’s comments only further serve as evidence of just how serious the Saudi consortium were about transforming the club on the field at least.