Rafa And The Passionate Fans Are Vitally Important To Staveley’s “Project”

Amanda Staveley has countered Mike Ashley’s statement yesterday in the media via her own exclusive interview today with well-respected George Caulkin of the Times.

She details three bids she has made for Newcastle and the one on the table is £250M with no clauses – an upfront cash payment as we understand it.

Ashley has countered this on Sky Sports this morning via that well- known “source” of his – saying he knows of no such offer.

So somebody isn’t telling the truth here.

It seems this thing will now be played out in the media, but that’s not good because Newcastle have a relegation battle on our hands and we must support Rafa and the players 100%.

Rafa Benitez and the fans – this is the new Newcastle

Distractions like this are not good as we found out when we were relegated back in 2009.

And of course Ashley will lose this media battle since the Newcastle fans want an aggressive and ambitious owner and Amanda Staveley seems to be exactly that.

In her Times interview she has said how important manager Rafa Benitez and the passionate Newcastle fans are to her “project”:

This is some of what she has said in the Times today:

“We want Rafa to be part of this project.”

“That passion of the fans is vitally important when you’re looking at a club because you know that you’re a custodian.”

“I’m also a passionate believer in investment in the northeast, because I know it’s tough.”

“A lot of great things are happening in the city — we’ve got friends, like the Reubens, who have invested there — and it’s a really special place, with its own identity.”

“It is absolutely unique.”

Amanda’s right there!

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Comments welcome.

41 comments so far

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #1

    divide and conquer Ashley has it off to a tee !!!

  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #2

    hibbit…Of that, he is a master. Mind, how much of it is actually to do with Ashley and how much of it is just a natural divide between fans with differing views of what the club should be?

    Not being a local it’s hard to tell at times.

  • lochinvar

    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #3

    optimisticprime@15 (previous)

    Who’s gonna be Bobby coming out the shower?

    Jib, who else

  • Black'n'White'n'BroonAllOver

    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #4

    Except this time, Staveley’s fighting back. Can’t be many fans who are divided (i.e. on Ashley’s side) now.

    My worry is that, as someone said on the previous thread, these tactics could cause Ashley to dig in purely out of spite.

    C’mon you cancerous slug, swallow yer ego, get on the phone and tell her £300m clean will see the deal done today.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #5

    Why do some posters keep comparing the club to house prices, it’s a false equivalence. And to be honest, if you think the Ashleys valuation of the club at £350m minimum is reasonable then you need your heads checking. The team needs severe investment but also the club itself. Training ground and academy etc. Even the staff from the club has decreased massively under Ashley, from around 1200-1300 members of staff throughout the club to around 200-300 members of staff. If you really want to compare it to house prices then it’s like buying a house at top market price yet the house has no walls, windows and the foundations need repairs.

  • NezzaNUFC

    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #7

    Mike could lose out on 150 million if/when we get relegated!

    Would he sell for 250 million when the transfer window closes?

    Or would Amanda offer a lower the price when/if relegated?

  • AncientC

    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #8

    Ashley truly disgusts me. Insulting Staveley, a lady genuinely interested in buying the club, even fronting up some of her own money. She is ready to invest and take on the prospect of relegation.

    Ashley has a club facing relegation with a daunting fixture list coming up… and he thinks £250 million isn’t enough. What a repulsive blob Ashley is.

  • Jib

    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #9


    C’mon you cancerous slug

    fer cryin’ out loud think before you post

  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #10

    Ronaldo….Comparisons to a different business can be tricky. With property for instance, you can view a house as part of a site’s gdv, which may well hold a different value to it’s typical bricks and water value.

    I don’t think Ashleys valuation is based on it being the sale of a house, but of a site project, without planning permission and a fair few obstacles to overcome.

    In business terms, both have valid points, it’ll come down to who needs / wants to sell or buy more.

    Not a defense of Ashley, I personally think his valuation is off considering where we are. But that’s me.

  • Black'n'White'n'BroonAllOver

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #11

    Ancient, he is a repulsive blob. And £250m seems perfectly fair in light of the investment required and potential losses in the near future (relegation and HMRC).

    However in his eyes he’s put in £264m or thereabouts, if we are to believe the reports.

    He’d never accept £250m if that’s the case. He’d see that as losing money.

  • Black'n'White'n'BroonAllOver

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #12

    Jib, not sure what I wrote that offended you there. Care to expand?

  • Jib

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #13

    Look at Ed’s health update
    I’m sure you can find insults for Ashley
    without use of the “c” word

  • magscar

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #14

    Repost Thanks again Ed (i don’t do tweet length posts so am regularly caught out as I slowly type)


    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:01 AM
    Comment #18


    Not pro- Ashley just stoically accepting of a situation I believe ( like times before) I cannot personally affect and so have little time for the constant invective spewed on here by the absolute Ashey haters whose views and posts are skewed entirely by that hatred.

    I find it amusing that i post irregularly and rarely if ever get responses to generally directed comments ( or even hearts) but anything which can be construed as Pro brings a response (usually Jail in his Rafa crusade).

    At present I am frustrated with this public battle and honestly can’t see it as something we fans should celebrate – I bet other club’s fans are as I would if it was the Mackems or Man U etc.

    Ashley has his own agenda – I get that but anyone who doesn’t feel that both sides of a deal will jockey for postion ( e.g. by inventing other parties or new bids in last few days) is being naive.

    I said a few days ago I just want club sold and I couldn’t care less if Ashley makes a profit or not – these last few months have been exhausting for us long suffering fans and I don’t want us played by either side.

    I totally believe and welcomed that you ( and others) had genuine snippets about the negotiations and can vaguely recognise in the quotes some resonance with bits that came out on here.

    What I am now unsure about is why they were emerging?
    Deliberately and therefore why?
    Or simply un rehearsed leaks by parties close to others as often the case in drawn out deals BUT something went very wrong with PCP’s understanding of the likely deal.

    December seems to be when snippets became fewer and around deadline of property deal – was, as I mused the other day Ashley perceived to be over a barrel and therefore close to accepting but somehow surmounted the funding challenge for property deal without selling us?

    I really don’t know but having had my appetite well and truly whetted for new owners I want it done with least amount of pain and public arguements as soon as possible.

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #15

    Ibizatoon @10
    i am local and a st holder.
    i haven’t come across one pro ashley supporter at the ground or around the city,
    other than on this blog not one

  • one fine day

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #16

    All this house buying talk ….
    Got it Mandy offers ash 300 mil
    Only condition is colback stays on to do a bit of pointing /grouting and stuff to justify his current wedge
    Penfold is tasked with a Philips head to get that tacky big screen telly down and its handshakes all round

  • Black'n'White'n'BroonAllOver

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #17

    Jib, fair point, and entirely accepted.

    Apologies to Ed, or anyone else, for any insensitivity. Unintentionally thoughtless choice of words.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #18

    I get that. Just seen number of posters comparing this sale to that of houses the past few days but it’s not as simple as that.

    I think the fact that Ashley chose to put the club back up for sale himself and not being approached or have his arm twisted to sell shows he wants out. Think AS has seen an opportunity and appears to be the only potential buyer around. Ashley will either need to wait until the end of the season, or until league safety is confirmed, or lower his valuation.

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #19

    sorry mate but your posts this have come across very pro Ashley

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #20


  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #21

    one fine day…Something like that.

    hibbit…I wasn’t talking pro-ashley per se, but take your point.

    It was more about the divide and conquer bit and fans bickering amongst themselves. Is it just an Ashley thing, or is it something he’s just good at manipulating. Clearly there are some fans who look at the Keegan years as a bad thing, as it changed the fan base, but I’ve no idea on what type of percentage of fans feel that way.

  • lesh

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #22


    Dallas is close to the situation but there another series – Dysentry was it?

  • AncientC

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #23

    Ashley hasn’t been able to prove that Newcastle can be profitable. And that is even with the PL growing wealthier—no thanks to Ashley. The only thing Ashley has proved is that the club can be profitable for a few seasons, but the price of that profit is relegation, ensuing to all profits then being lost. It was only about a year ago he put in another £18 million of his own money.

    The trouble is that in the past the club had profits to cover another relegation, or close enough. A third relegation, which looks a very real prospect, is insurmountable risk. Benitez will be gone, and the likes of Ritchie and Shelvey are not going to do another tour of the Championship. Take 1 of Ritchie or Shelvey out of the side last season, and the club probably wouldn’t have came up.

    Imagine how last season would have went if Benitez had decided to walk away. The unity that got the club through the championship season would be gone.

    Does Ashley realise how close his investment in Newcastle is to the brink right now?

    It is £250 million for a shell of club that hasn’t grown or produced any profits under Ashley, currently facing relegation right in the face. Ashley will surely cave, he cannot be that stupid (don’t hold me to that).

  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #24

    ronaldo…It would seem that’s exactly where we are at.

    What I’m not sure on is how Ashley reverses what he’s said about not being able to take the club forward. Not exactly his best starting point for negotiations, with any buyer or to appease the fan base. I suppose it could well buy him some time – I mean, the poor bloke’s doing all he can to compete!

    Magscar…Still struggling to get the fence sitting perfected? Not a crack, just a joke.

  • GPPaweyyekna

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #25

    Ashley Out flags are sure to out again soon. I would love to see one switched with Linesmans flag.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #26


    like you I’m totally fed up with the situation – three months of clap-trap from both sides.

    Me if Ashley has not got his heart in the club and is not going to put any money in for players – as we need them then sell up and go

    Stavely – Just pay the £300 million he wants unless the goal posts have been moved.

    Personally, I think this could be all about the upcoming TV deal in February…
    rumours have it that Amazon plus others are going to pay crazy money for the TV rights and Ashley does not want to miss out – so why not give RAFA the money for new players to keep us up.

    Stavely Just pay the £300 million give RAFA the money to keep us up and you will reep the rewards of the extra TV revenue

  • lochinvar

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #27

    On a different topic I see that some hack reckons that Chelsea will go after 36 year old Peter Crouch instead of Andy ” I’ve got a sore toe” Carroll. That defies logic.
    Can only assume there’s a private fraternity for ageing footballers that allows them a final big transfer and pay off before retiring.

  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #28

    Ancient…I think it really boils down to has he had enough and does he need the money back to invest elsewhere. If not, the amount he occasionally needs to throw at it, isn’t exactly stretching him and he’s arrogant to boot.

  • magscar

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #29


    i think we have had a conversation about AO succes or otherwise before and not altered our individual perpsectives so no point going there.

    No they haven’t yet called for any action but geiven their history I am giving my view that I hope they don’t do so for the reasons I expressed.

    I am glad that you appreciate that Ashley will go when he is ready ( so many don’t and think he owes us even though they understand him!) and yes other factors will impact his decision making but i honestly don’t believe that AO can do so without galvanising mass protests which they have hitherto been incapable of doing that.

    If this deal falls through and/or we are relegated then without any rabblerousing the match going crowd will vent their feelings totally unorchestrated but i guess AO might like to corral then steer the bandwagon if you will forgive my mixed metaphors ( growing tired of all thius typing this morning) given half a chance.

    Each to their own I will decide whether or not I go next season when the position clears. It will be personal though – I am 68 in couple weeks and facing 200 mile round trip over NY moors often not on a Saturday (thanks SKY) not to mention other issues and it doesn’t get any easier. Like others it is amazing how many blows you can take though and keep going back 🙂

  • lochinvar

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #30

    Closer to home we’ve got Emmerdale.
    Is Ashley a Dingle ?

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #31

    not sure the changing fan base was all down to the keegan years as its a problem that seems to affect all premier league clubs
    think it has more to do with sky and the premier leagues development but it has changed the type of customer /fans football grounds attract

  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #32

    Magscar…You’re right, no point visiting old ground that we definitely have covered before. Just to say, I am open to hearing new ideas, if you or anyone has any.

    I don’t even have the pull of attending SJP and still tune in, so I do have a half understanding, but always appreciate I’m in no position to talk about sacrifice.

    I really am not talking about boycotts or protests though. Ideas to show unity. Fan unity, imo, would have an impact. What I do know is that currently, the fans are the least of Ash’s problems, as to date, it’s been shown, that absolutely nothing will happen bar a few grumbles and fan fighting.

    I also take on board what people say about when the time comes, the fans wont need orchestrating, what would ensue is nearer to chaos. Not sure where that ties in with fans idea of not wanting to distract the players on the field. I do feel that by putting our heads in the sand, so to speak, we just make the situation worse. I get that some just don’t want to take this side of football too seriously.

    Enjoy your day.

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #33

    magscar you live in yorkshire ????

  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #34

    Hibbit…Very true. I think there are a lot of factors. As you say, it isn’t Newcastle specific.

    It is sad to see tradition fading. It’d be nice to find a good balance going forward, not sure that’ll be achievable with so many drawing their lines in the sand though.

  • JP...from The Rock

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #35

    For the love of God we won’t hear the end of this transfer talk now lol OFFER THAT LYING CLOWN KNOWN AS FAT ASH £300M with no clauses and be done with him already!!!

    So sick of the will we / won’t we / we could / there’s a good chance / if we and / well maybe’s of this saga!!!

    OFFER £300+ and no clauses and that’s it done and dusted ffs!

  • JP...from The Rock

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #36

    Meanwhile ehile we stand still watching on this fight between Ashley and Staveley our relegstion rivals in Brighton are going to sign a forward from PSV for over £10m and Swansea are looking to sign a winger from Angers!

    Sort it out Ashley FFS!!! Invest like you said you will you fat lying cu*t!!

  • lochinvar

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #37

    Is it that the “end game” is in sight ?

    What’s delaying the negotiations and creating the Mexican stand off is the Premier League decision regarding Global TV rights. If Amazon as is widely thought are successful and knock Sky off their perch then there will be obscene revenues created for 2019/2020 onwards. Maybe even 2018/2019 ?

    Ashley is buying time by trying to see what the outcome of that TV position is, the problem being that it occurs after the January window closes.

    Amanda and PCP are in effect offering Ashley a strong deal now which would remove the gamble for him of delaying selling while risking relegation.

    A sale before the end of January gives Ashley an “out” and saves face and puts hard cash in his bank account to allow purchase of SD shares or invest in the rumoured property deals.

    Timing is everything.

  • hibbit

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #38


    like magscar i’m from the older generation of fans and things have definitely changed going to a game but don’t let anyone kid you there not all a step backwards a lot have been great improvements and added to the enjoyment of visiting st james

  • Ibizatoon

    Jan 19, 2018 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #39

    Hibbit…Thanks for the info. I’ve no doubt there will be pro’s and con’s and each fan will view those differently.

    For the fans who prefer the older, more traditional feel to the club, you’d have thought they would be happier with the club in a lower league, away from the financial / business side of things which occupies the PL these days. Mind, all that money does buy some pretty talented players and thus good football to watch 🙂

  • james589

    Jan 19, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #40

    My two cents:

    Great to hear from the ‘other side’, but Stavely must realise that £250m isn’t sufficient. The investment cost Ashley c. £234m (£134m purchase price + £100m interest free loan), so £250m would represent ‘only’ a £16m profit in the decade he’s owned the club. Given the change in football finances in that time (TV revenue alone), a 7% return is pretty meagre and Ashley, rightly or wrongly, will expect more (although questionable whether he attributes any value to the free advertising he’s enjoyed over that time).

    I think Stavely may have made a bit of a mistake (and whet Ashley’s appetite) by publicly revealing the plan was £250m purchase + £200m investment – Ashley will interpret that as there is £450m in the pot and knowing him he will try and take as much of that himself as possible. Why would he take £250m when he knows there’s another £200m sloshing around? However for us fans, every £ added to the purchase price is a £ less for investment. Ashley needs to accept that he has chronically underfunded and underinvested in the club over his tenure and a potential buyer’s valuation of the club reflects that.

    The ‘sources close to Ashley’ thing is really, really annoying. Time and again the club has been criticised for not having open lines of communication with fans, they have learned absolutely nothing. They could help the situation immeasurably by issuing a direct and honest official statement.

    Stavely saying the offer is still on the table is directly contradictory to the news story that the Reubens (as financers behind the deal) were out. Unless there are other would-be investors, I don’t see how the deal can be still on the table?


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