Amanda Staveley offered to help with Newcastle United’s efforts in the January transfer window.

The Chronicle say that the bidding group made an ‘offer to aid’ United with buying new players to help stave off relegation but discussions ‘did not prove fruitful’.

The report says that the likely scenario would have seen Mike Ashley shelling out for the new signings, then paid back the money at a later date, presumably when the takeover is/was completely signed off.

However, with the Amanda Staveley bidders getting no joy with their initiative, the Chronicle say that it is simply now down to Mike Ashley in terms of what cash he wants to be made available and that three days into the transfer window, Rafa Benitez still doesn’t know how much he has, or hasn’t…, got to spend.

It was 21 days ago that Rafa Benitez said (see below) ‘You need to know as soon as possible  (what your transfer budget is)…we need to know because our people are travelling round the world watching games.

“We have our targets. I would say (we need to know our transfer budget) as soon as possible. That’s normal.

“You have to go to the market in January and have your targets. You need to know the budget. That is it.”

Then 12 days ago Rafa said (also see below) ‘I don’t know the budget that I have, so we don’t know how much we can spend…

“I have the belief and the confidence in Mike Ashley, that by 15 January or 20 January (at very latest), we have to be there with everything done.’

If that didn’t sound like a challenge to the owner then I don’t know what is!

Rafa Benitez had signings lined up for the very start of the summer transfer window that Mike Ashley then blocked, now we are left wondering not just whether or not signings will be made, but whether indeed the Newcastle manager will get any budget at all.

We always say ‘surely not’ when it comes to second guessing Mike Ashley’s excesses but in January 2017 Newcastle didn’t sign a single player despite Rafa expecting signings to be made, whilst of course Newcastle went an astonishing 18 months without buying a single first team squad player from January 2013 to summer 2014, consecutive windows without buying.

The Chronicle – 3 January 2018 (Today):

‘The uncertainty surrounding future ownership of the club is certainly not helping Rafa Benitez as he desperately attempts to bring in January reinforcements.

The Spaniard is keen to sign a striker, a left-back, a midfielder and a goalkeeper, but he is yet to learn of his precise budget for the mid-season window.

It is believed that PCP did offer to aid United this month, but discussions over a potential January kitty – Ashley would likely have paid for players up front, then he would have been reimbursed further down the line – did not prove fruitful.

Instead it is Ashley who must support Benitez this month and, as things stand, the Newcastle manager is likely to have a restricted budget from which he must operate.’

Rafa Benitez – 22 December 2017:

“I have confidence that Mike Ashley will deliver what we need to stay in the Premier League before January 20, to be sure that we have time to work with the new players.

“I don’t know the budget that I have, so we don’t know how much we can spend…

“I have the belief and the confidence in Mike Ashley, that by 15 January or 20 January (at very latest), we have to be there with everything done.

“Am I confident we can get what we want?

“In some cases yes, in some cases no.”

Rafa Benitez – 13 December 2017:

“What I would say is that if you know where you are (what transfer budget you have, if any…) and what you have, it is easier for me and it is easier for our people.

“We can talk with agents, players and clubs and say, ‘We are here’ and ‘We can’, or ‘We cannot’.

“It is easier.

“You know where you are and you can go in one direction or another one. You need to know as soon as possible…we need to know because our people are travelling round the world watching games.

“We have our targets.

“I would say (we need to know our transfer budget) as soon as possible. That’s normal.

“You have to go to the market in January and have your targets. You need to know the budget. That is it.”

  • TheNutJob


  • toon

    What utter rubbish and fake news, what the local rag chronicle does not know it makes up. Truth us no one knows what is happening

    • TheNutJob

      nothings happening that`s the problem, if he`s refused funds then he`s nowhere near a deal to sell

  • Paul Patterson

    Rule nothing out with this owner unless it means meaningful spending.
    Saleable assets will be vulnerable and loan deals the order of the month.

    • Shipcote Willy

      Spot on Paul, Ashley will never change

  • anyobrien

    I wish Ashley nothing but pain… What tossa

    • TheNutJob

      a poison pukka pie would help

  • Geordie Pete Moore

    A divvnt nah aboot anyone else but I’m getting sick o this BS, the Prem league havnt even carried out a right and proper test on Amanda Staveleys credentials to take awa the Toon which they need to do with anyone coming into the Prem league, such a test can take weeks, So at the risk of upsetting her, I just wish there was some firm evidence to support this takeover so either put up or shut up, Toon Army Howay, Win against Swansea and we are staying up. Fking get on with it or do one !!!

    • Paul Patterson

      Once again, let me reiterate- Staveley isn’t the buyer, just the broker. The buyer is highly likely to be from the middle east and worth 50x Mike Ashley.

      • Duh

        Seems like a private equity model to me. PCP create an investment fund and act as operators; private investors commit money to fund, fund buys nufc.

        PCP provide management on behalf of investors. Hire executives and ensure it is meeting objectives laid out in fund prospectus.

        It will need to be profitable over the long term, it won’t be a billionaire’s play thing like Chelsea but, these guys will be looking to expand revenue opportunities – things like prize money, media rights, merchandise etc etc.

        Just my guess…

        • Paul Patterson

          Could be right, but someone I know has seen Staveley at the horses meeting certain people of middle east origin. I may be putting two and two together but if it is my hypothesis that is right, then it would be something along the Man City lines..

          • Duh

            Early reports were talking about investors from both the Middle East and china.

            A sole buyer from the Middle East would probably be better in terms of us only having to worry about fair play rules whereas multiple investors is more likely to be more business like.

            The latter is not necessarily a bad thing. I think we all know that a bit of speculating to acumulate and expanding the commercial potential of the club (as long as it does not involve renaming the stadium) is all what most fans are hoping for.

          • Toonrobbybobson

            Hey listen anything other than Ashley is a gamble im willing to take.

      • Martin Rooney

        Are you mad? First off there is not a single person on the planet worth 50x what Ashley is. Then add in if it is a middle east 3rd party with billions what are they doing haggling over £50m what on earth makes anyone think this isn’t someone just like Ashley who will barter in every transfer negotiation? So they’ll haggle hard with Ashley then spend like a gluten on players. Please please stop being hoodwinked like a bunch of greedy kids at a candy store.

        • Paul Patterson

          Man City’s owner is worth nearly £20bn on his own. His family worth a reported Trillion.

  • DaveH

    The Fat Man has no interest whatsoever in NUFC. He is the owner yet when the 125 year anniversary celebration took place , where was he ?. Any other owners would have attended but not the Fat Man.

  • mactoon

    Any hope that a deal could be brokered where Staveley could put up funds for January transfers was doomed from the start. A selling price for the club cannot be agreed which means if the takeover does not take place, the transfer outlay would not be repaid. Ashley simply will not take the risk of paying out money at this stage if it isn’t’ refundable. I’m beginning to think this sale will not happen and Ashley knows the buyer won’t meet his asking price and is just continuing in his old business plan of hoping we don’t get relegated with the squad we have.

    • TheNutJob

      I never thought it would go through when it was reported that they didn`t increase the bid

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      Then relegation may be the only thing that will bring the numpty to his senses.

      • TheNutJob

        that hasn`t worked twice, has it. 3rd time lucky ay

      • Paul Patterson


        • Angelswithdirtyfaces

          The guy has a death wish for the club. I believe he is a egotisitical and spiteful man who can afford a few mill to score a point – and will do so.

    • StevieB

      Why would she have offered to put money in though if she wasn’t confident she was gonna agree a deal to buy the club later on 🤔

      • Mitros gotta start

        Read the article….she never offered to put money in….just refund what ashley spends if she buys the club

    • Mitros gotta start

      Its ok…there are loads of other people lining up to buy the club according to fatty

  • Shipcote Willy

    Sorry to say it but I have never believed Ashley will sell. He wants too much money and always expects to come out top dog but Staveley won’t pay over what she has been told the club is worth by her people. As far as January is concerned there will be zero budget and Rafa will have to sell but there is no guarantee he will have all those funds to spend. Ashley never changes, never learns and I believe he will gamble with the future once again. Rafa will be very unhappy but will soldier on. It’s going to be a nervous second half of the season. Whatever happens if Ashley is here next season Rafa won’t be

    • Angelswithdirtyfaces

      with a consequent fall in the value of the club. The FCB ain’t so hot when it comes to maximising the value of the club.

    • Big Al 1967

      My thoughts exactly. Great minds and all that. From Day 1 have never felt he would sell and this has been another game played by the FCB

    • Desree

      Are we seeing the behaviour traits of a pathological liar.

  • TheNutJob

    I`m afraid the blonde lady took a knife to a gunfight against Fatty.
    for all his faults and he has many, you don`t become a billionaire by chance

    • Paul Patterson

      Yeah, but if we go down, the asset will be worth 100m less with little prospect of promotion. His luck will eventually run out.

  • slippers

    Unless the deal actually is going ahead but they don’t want it to increase the prices of anyone we go for so they say it isn’t going ahead and we are stuck with no money..

    I prefer this naive fairytale, until at least the end of Jan.

  • Wor Lass

    I`ve no idea whether fatso really wants to sell or not but I do know that there`s no way on earth he`s going to get into some half-assed arrangement where someone who might buy him out puts some money in and he pays them back later. If Staveley really wants to buy the club she needs to get the money together to do it. Put up or shut up.

  • Tony Mann

    Gutted …I don’t think he’ll sell. This club is a toy to him to do with as he see’s fit. He will get what he paid for it when he does eventually sell but whilst he gets free advertising it’s a no cost option to keep it. It wouldn’t surprise me if his atitude was ‘Eff the mags’

  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    The story doesn’t ring true. The club buys the players, not Mike Ashley, if Mike Ashley has to lend more money, he is a creditor so will be repaid or The club simply has less money and more playing talent

    • Stephen Paylor

      Can be no way possible the club doesn’t have 30 million available for transfers right now. I have looked a lot at the finances and there simply has to be that amount available.

      • Duh

        The money is there, I’m sure of it. Even more so if they move players on. Spending it is something else.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        The thing is, we don’t need £30m, we just need to be able to pay the instalments.

        I read on another forum about FFP rules, there may be some problem there. If Mitro and Colback leave and even JJS, we have room for quality additons

  • Mrkgw

    He isn’t going to sell is he? Ashley out!!

    • Whitehurst

      Wishful thinking that a deal has already been struck….smoke & mirrors and all that!!

  • Stephen Paylor

    He will have to sell now as the revolt will be the worst the club has ever seen and during a relegation run in will be toxic for the team. I estimate we get to 38 points and survive (by 2 points)this year with the team we have currently. Strengthening would be great and cheap options would be Ings or Berahino maybe on loan if he can rediscover form.
    However, with a fan revolt against Ashley ruining the morale it could mean 34 points and relegation. Its a fine balance right now.
    If Rafa isn’t supported this window and walks we are done.

    • Duh

      he’ll stay until the end of the season regardless. If there is no takeover he’ll do a nash in June.

      My prediction is we will get rid of a couple, free up some wages/transfer fee and bring in some so-so signings or loans that improve the squad a bit.

      We’ll then limp on to the end of the season. If we don’t have injuries to key players like lacelles we’ll be okay but get some bad luck and we could find the going hard.

      I do think Rafa is too good of a manager to take even this limited team down. With a couple of quality additions that is even less likely.

      I reckon there is money there (I feel we had budget left over in September) the biggest barrier seems to be the clubs ability to get deals done quickly and cleanly.

    • Martin Rooney

      What revolt? when? Place has been full for years. Do you mean the number of online whingers will increase from 50 to 150. Oh aye that’ll do it.

    • joe mac

      he wont care about any revolt…he never goes to the games!!

    • Mike

      wont happen look wot happened to the Get Ashley out brigade folk still went to games

  • Desree

    Ashley is trying to sell a banger at top whack just before it is due an MOT.

    Only a fool would buy it.

    • Duh

      He has a good mechanic, just needs to buy the parts

      • Whitehurst

        Pretty much sums it up!! Altho I still stand by that a deal has already been agreed….along the lines of Shearer quotes!!

        • Duh

          Objectively I agree. It’s done awaiting formalities. There is loads of evidence: the forming of a company, the lack of noise from Rafa, the fact the press know zero (people will be under non disclosures).

          It’s not easy to be objective when you are a supporter though.

          • Martin Rooney

            Duh, how apt!

        • Martin Rooney

          Oh I that’s right Shearer knows as Ashley takes time out to call him and give him updates.

    • Martin Rooney

      He’s selling a club for twenty percent more than he bought it for, considering it is debt free and income has increase by 80% then that’s not excessive.

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        Yep, that’s about it in a nutshell.

  • Rob Brown

    OK Mike. I’ll buy your Capri off you for 600 quid.

    Naah. I want 800

    OK. I’ll give you 400, and if it gets through the next MOT I’ll give you another 200.

    That’s still 600, and maybe even only 400.

    OK. Its going to need new wipers to get it through the next MOT – there’s a sale on at Halfords. Buy some of those top range wipers with the fins on them and 3 blades, and if I buy the car off you,I’ll reimburse you for them.


    Like, well, duuhhhh! I’m not paying for them if I dont buy the car

    But it doesn’t need wipers. And it’s still only 600 quid. And if I wanted fancy wipers I can afford to buy them myself! Why would I need you to pay for my bleeding wipers?

    I want 800 quid!!

    Well there’s just no pleasing some people.

    • Down Under Mag

      I think it’s more that the garage had it in for 600 and Ashley bought it, did doughnuts until the tyres were bare, forgot to change the oil, used diesel in a petrol engine because it was cheaper and now that it needs a new engine and new tyres wants to sell for 1200 because he put a racing stripe on it.

    • Martin Rooney

      Quite, there’s something wiffy about Mandy and she’s clearly not looking at our club as a vehicle to spend money on.

  • Martin

    I think if we beat Swansea at home, Ashley will take the gamble that Rafa can keep us up with minimal further strengthening i.e. a couple of loan players and will sell once and if we are safe. No takeover will happen until, and if, we are safe.

    • Jezza

      I think you’re being wildly optomistic by expecting a couple of loans. I don’t believe there will be any new players at all. Ashley is far more likely to be looking to sell somebody like Shelvey or Mitrovic to recoup the £11.5 million net spend in the summer.

      • mentalman

        net spend was over 20million and for him to significantly benefit from any player sales he would need to find clubs who were going to pay the full amount up front, otherwise if a sale does go through the new owners will receive the remaining payments.

  • Toon fan

    How can so much assumption be derived from this article? Think about it man.

    • joe mac

      he hasnt!!

  • ghostrider

    Money will be spent either way.
    Players will be sold and bought whether Ashley does it or whoever is supposedly taking over.
    Ashley has stated cash is there from what the club generates.
    Has the club generated any profit?
    If so then Rafa will be handed the money to make purchases as well as what he gains by outgoing transfers.

    The stark reality is, if he fails to offload then he’ll ultimately fail to bring in players.
    The wage bill and overloading will see to that.

    The big stumbling blocks in terms of us selling are going to be the wages, because this so called skinflint club due to Ashley has given players very decent wages. Very very decent.
    The issue is in other clubs paying a transfer fee and paying that same wage or very similar to it.

    It’s only natural if you want to add a big wage you have to offset it…right?
    Loan signings would be a much better bet for us in January but the same thing applies.
    we still have to pay their wages and we still have to offload.
    The better deals would be to loan out and loan in then we get the best of all worlds, with little hindrance.

    Ashley’s never been a man that likes to do deals in January, because January is literally a panic buying time and an offloading of problematic players, or players that are basically overrated garbage.

  • Down Under Mag

    The more of this stuff I read, (and while i’m treating these “exclusives” with a pinch of salt), the more i’m thinking Ashley doesn’t actually want to sell and was just using the sale talk to get some publicity and to stave off any need for spending. Either that or he is just willing to gamble on having enough to stay up and will pocket the TV money and THEN offload the club in the summer. Maybe its just he is so vindictive he is trying to offload and get as much as he can while still doing all he can to sabotage things before he leaves…

  • robbersdog

    This article could’ve been considerably shorter; in fact, three words would’ve done the trick – we’re completely f*cked.

  • Leazes

    Bizarre…. Ashley has money and doesn’t need to borrow!

    He’s always had money…. that’s not the problem.

  • magpiefifer

    The Soap Opera goes on…and…on…and…on!
    I hate the soaps!!!

  • Peter

    The same old problem….Ashley….