Jordan closes and Champions League tears – Amanda Staveley’s best Newcastle United quotes

Jordan closes and Champions League tears – Amanda Staveley’s best Newcastle United quotes

Amanda Staveley’s time at Newcastle United is coming to an end with the news that she and husband Mehdrad Ghodoussi are leaving the club.

Three years after brokering the £305million, Saudi-backed takeover of the club that ended Mike Ashley’s control of the club after 14 arduous years, the pair will sell their six per cent stake in United.

Playing a key role in the day-to-day running of the club ever since, Staveley’s love for the city and the Magpies in particular has been on public record for far longer than the official start date of her association in 2021. From sealing the deal to recruiting a new manager and then investing in the squad, supporting the women’s side and returning the club to Champions League status, she has lived and breathed Newcastle in every sphere of life.

FIND OUT MORE: Amanda Staveley’s bombshell leaves Newcastle looking different as project enters new phase

FIND OUT MORE: Newcastle star who refused to play after relegation finally ends up in the Championship

Preparations were evidently made for this eventuality, with Darren Eales recruited as chief executive while Dan Ashworth initially fulfilled the role of sporting director. Following his departure, Paul Mitchell recently joined.

Ultimately, the Ripon financier will be missed and appreciated for all she did on Tyneside, so Live Chronicle browsed through the archives to find Staveley’s most memorable moments during his time at the club:

Simon Jordan closed while acquisition was on the table

Responding to the highly controversial PIF-backed takeover in 2021, Staveley made an appearance on talkSPORT’s live radio show. There, she was welcomed by Simon Jordan, who supported her throughout the development.

The former Crystal Palace chairman said she was “barking at the moon” with her calls for the Premier League to disclose what were seen as controversial aspects of the takeover deal, while also branding fans gullible for supporting the move.

Staveley, as calm as ever, replied: “Simon, I think you’re wrong. I’ll tell you why. You say we’ve had 28 years and we’re barking at the moon, football has changed dramatically in the last two years because of Covid.

“I know you are not in favour of our deal and I am not going to get into a fight on talkSPORT. Give your opinion and that’s fine. You have never met me and you don’t know who I am. You have never looked at our business plan.

“The Premier League has the right to vote on this and we can do that. The PL is run by a board and can make decisions about how this is run. Arbitration is a particular point of a particular point of the law. It is not typical of what has happened with sports arbitration over the last year.

“The government has asked and said this process should be transparent – they support that. The Premier League offered arbitration, they didn’t ask all the other clubs if it was okay. They have the ability to go out and do that. And to say the fanbase is naive is absolutely ridiculous.”

There wasn’t much of a response to this…

The natural response to a completed acquisition

You’ve just completed a lucrative £305m takeover of one of the Premier League’s most historic clubs – a plan that’s been in the works for over four years at this point. What’s the first thing you do?

“(I’m) enjoying my first drink! It was amazing,” Staveley exclusively told Chronicle Live as soon as the acquisition was announced.

“Having the opportunity to meet and speak to the Chronicle, but speaking to the fans and meeting them was the best part. It’s all about the fans and we are so honoured to be custodians of this incredible football club. We are so proud, the PIF is so proud to look after this club and we hope to make you proud.”

Developing a business plan

With new ownership coming in with billions in their pockets to fund Newcastle’s rebuild, fans were salivating over the prospect of signings in that first January transfer window. Everyone was dying to know Staveley’s plan, so she was asked what to expect.

“We will invest, heavily, obviously,” she replied candidly. Simple, but effective.

She explained that this would be across all departments and infrastructure of the club, not just the men’s team. Of course, a lot of money has been invested in Bruno Guimaraes, Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn and Chris Wood.

A match made in heaven

As mentioned, Staveley worked on his acquisition and how to achieve it for many, many years before it was actually finalized.

Speaking at a foundation event months after taking office, she announced: “We came here four years ago and fell head over heels in love with this incredible place.”

How to do the work

A long-awaited managerial change eventually saw Eddie Howe installed in charge of the first team. The former Bournemouth boss arrived with plenty of experience of high-level firefighting, and his new employer was vocal about the situation he was getting himself into.

“We had to have someone leading the club who wasn’t afraid of relegation. I remember Eddie and I talking about it at the weekend at the Brighton game. He’s getting back into a position he was in before, so it’s not one we’ve ever been in,” Staveley explained.

“We felt we took a risk because we knew the club was in 19th place at the time. Eddie took that risk with us knowing there is always a chance of relegation. I think he will do the most incredible job – and the team. We have a fabulous squad of players who I have grown very fond of in a very short space of time. I know they will work really well with him.”

“Incredible” is perhaps an understatement, given what has been achieved in the relatively short period since then.

The women’s team’s dream

Staveley has been a strong advocate for the use of available financial resources at all levels.

In her speech, the Ripon-based financier explained: “We have to get our youth teams, our under-23s, into our stadiums about twice a year and the idea is to give them a chance. I said, ‘Actually, I’d like the women’s team to have the same opportunity. Why can’t we make it part of the new rules to say we’re going to have our women playing on the main pitch?'”

Her love of women’s sport has seen the Magpies’ women’s team progress from semi-professional to professional. Next season they will also compete in the Championship (WSL 2) – two years after being a fourth-tier side. Staveley’s ambition finally came to life as she watched her team play and win 6-1 at St. James’ Park.

“I’m passionate about getting women’s football really back into the heart of the club,” she said ahead of kick-off. “We really appreciate the emotional support and of course the investment in the women’s team from the new owners and while it was something we always aspired to, we probably didn’t expect this kind of opportunity to come along so soon.”

Taking advantage of the celebration, she danced with the happy group in the changing rooms.

We will win it all!

The natural reaction to losing a cup final is to sit silently, downtrodden. For Newcastle, that kind of trip home from Wembley Stadium has not been very common over the years, so there was a strong element of achievement in reaching the Carabao Cup final in Howe’s first full season in charge.

Staveley summed up this fighting attitude, stating: “I was so proud of all the fans, of everyone, and I was crying and my son was crying, we were all crying. Which was amazing at two-nil, flags going up, there was passion in everyone. Everyone took us on this journey.

“We will win the Carabao Cup, we will win the FA Cup, we will win the Champions League and we will win the Premier League. This is all about the incredible fans who have taken us on this journey, and we are honoured and humbled and feel very privileged to help manage Newcastle United.”

Amanda Staveley celebrates after Newcastle United qualify for the Champions League in 2023

Champions League football returns

And finally, the biggest achievement under Staveley’s joint ownership at Newcastle. In May 2023, fourth place in the Premier League was confirmed and along with it was the club’s return to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

Staveley didn’t need to say anything on the matter, as instead, actions speak louder than words. She was seen joining the team’s lap of honor, hugging Eddie Howe in tears of joy.

Get a Free Amazon Prime Membership

Want free takeaways, exclusive discounts, free music streaming and access to some of the best sports documentaries being made? These are just some of the perks of Amazon Prime. Normally £8.99 a month, you can now get a 30-day free trial just in time for Amazon Prime Day, which brings the site’s best deals of the year exclusively to Prime members.