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Amanda Staveley unveils 8 key updates from Newcastle United owners

6 months ago
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Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi have given a new in-depth Newcastle United interview.

Whilst the Newcastle United owners fully acknowledge that avoiding relegation is by far the most important challenge facing the club in the immediate future.

It is at the same time great to get an insight into just what plans are being put in place to take this football club forward longer-term.

Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi giving a very (VERY) lengthy and detailed interview to The Athletic, a really good read.

We have though picked out a few brief highlights / headlines…

Newcastle United owners – 8 key updates from the Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad interview with The Athletic – 26 February 2022:

The new owners are definitely not going to move stadiums, instead they are looking to expand St James Park to between 60,000 and 65,000 capacity.

The NUFC owners say that they are happy with the new Premier League rules regarding sponsorship deals and that they feel very ambitious deals will be agreed in the near future, with a lot of interest already shown by potential sponsors, many of which are not Saudi linked / based.

Improvements are being made to the current training ground but new sites are being looked at and once the ideal one is identified, a brand new state of the art training complex will be built and this is expected to be completed within three years.

The NUFC owners would ‘Love Eddie Howe to be the next Sir Alex Ferguson’ and be at St James Park for a long time.

Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi have a management contract to run the club and don’t see that changing once the CEO is appointed, a post for which they have had some ‘incredible candidates’ apply. The couple will work with the new CEO when appointed, as well as with the new Director of Football (Dan Ashworth – who they can’t name but he’ll be joining NUFC once completing his gardening leave at Brighton.

The Newcastle’s women’s team will be paid “as professionals” and Amanda Staveley says the plan is for them to be playing some games at St James Park as early as next season.

They can “work with,” the Premier League’s new rules on associated party sponsorship.

Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi will “vigorously” defend legal action from Mike Ashley for allegedly breaching the terms of a £10 million loan he provided to help facilitate the club’s £305 million sale in October.

Amanda Staveley addressed the relegation issue as well…

“We know Eddie has the ability to keep us up. And it was always with a view to a long-term future. We hope and think that Eddie will be with us for a very long time.

“We had to get the building blocks in place before we hit the transfer window.

“In my opinion, we [the Newcastle team] weren’t fit enough. They just hadn’t had intense training. They were disjointed, not working together. We had to get that sense of oneness, of belonging, of being united.”

Plus the challenges of their first transfer window…

“We were also 19th going into the window. So we had that, an illiquid market and the complexity of COVID, which meant clubs didn’t want to sell because they didn’t know where their squads would end up.

“We had to encourage players — ‘we’ll be a safe place for you, we’ll deliver and grow’. Some desperately wanted to come to us, like Sven (Botman), who still does very much and has talked very openly about that.

“Coming through all that showed us we can do it, that we can stick to our plan and if we get criticised on the last day for ‘oh, you’re going after Jesse (Lingard, the Manchester United winger)’, well, Jesse wanted to come to us. We did everything. We never stopped. From the start to the finish, we did not stop working.”

Amanda Staveley states that the Saudi PIF ‘have huge ambitions, not only for the club but in terms of working with the community, investing in the city. The similarities would be with Manchester City. What Sheikh Mansour has done there has been fantastic. We want to take the best of other clubs and apply it to Newcastle.’

As for where Newcastle United will be playing in the future, Amanda Staveley couldn’t be clearer…

“We will definitely look at expanding it [St James Park], working with the city and council to see what we can do. There are a lot of things that need to happen first, but that’s the way forward. If we can get it to 60 or 65,000 thousand, amazing, and we will look at every possibility. But are we going to build a new stadium? No. It would be like tearing your soul out.”

Exciting times ahead.

Let’s get this relegation (survival!) issue sorted now, then we can all move on properly.

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