Whoever first said that “there’s never a dull moment around here” must surely have been talking about Newcastle United…
Another week has generated another bout of mass hysteria from the media, who seem intent on adding two plus two and coming up with the $28billion of global assets controlled by Amanda Staveley and her company, PCP Capital Partners.
Whilst a change of ownership, to the right investors, would be most welcome, perhaps it might be more prudent to refrain from getting caught up in our latest drama just yet.
Truths, half-truths and lies, always seems to be the stock-in trade of the press where Newcastle United are concerned, and this episode appears to encapsulate that.
Yes, Amanda Staveley was at the game against Liverpool, she probably did speak with the likes of Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop as she was in the Directors Box and no doubt enjoyed some of the hospitality, so, obviously, she is about to buy the Club.
Never mind the fact that she was sitting next to Margaret Aspinall, the Hillsborough campaigner who was at the match as a guest of Rafa Benitez, and that Staveley and Benitez know each other from the failed DIC takeover at Liverpool, where the would-be investors were keen to keep Rafa.
With Mike Ashley looking to either dispose of the Club or bring in some outside investment, this, to me, is starting to look like a nicely worked piece of opportunism from the owner and his associates.
Purely coincidentally, ‘Ashley’s fixer’ Barnes was at the game, as was ‘The Bishop’, no doubt with his ‘PR and crisis management’ hat on. Oh, and Ashley’s favoured mouthpiece just happened to be broadcasting the game, against a team with a huge global ‘brand’, live to an audience of millions around the world..
And in case you weren’t watching, @PeteGravesSky tweeted, an hour before kick off. Another base covered.
“Confirmed. British businesswoman Amanda Staveley is watching #nufc v #lfc today. Famous for her links with middle Eastern investors. 🤔”
Just in case the story was cooling by the middle of the week, Graves tweeted an update..
“Staveley met Barnes/Charnley/Bishop. Unplanned but positive chat. 3 possible clubs BUT likes #nufc! Long way off & not moved since Sun yet.”
“Unplanned”? By who?! You could argue that it was very well planned by the Three Amigos.
Apparently there is no such thing as bad publicity. In which case, Mike Ashley and his team have generated a week’s worth of publicity for the cost of a match ticket, a vol-au-vent and a glass of wine.
The world now know that Ashley is open to offers and are led to believe that there is genuine Middle Eastern interest..
We can but hope that the plan comes together – but forgive me if I’m not getting too excited just yet.
As has always been the case over the last 10 years, there can only ever be one real winner in all this. But if it gets him out of our Club, it’s a small price to pay.