Amanda Staveley has revealed she will take a “very hands-on” role at Newcastle after finally managing to steer through a long-anticipated takeover.
The financier, who first tried to buy the club in 2017, was in jubilant mood on Thursday evening after the Premier League finally approved her largely Saudi-backed buy-out of Mike Ashley to signal a new era in the Magpies’ turbulent recent history.
However, the hard work has now begun in earnest and Staveley will be front and centre working alongside non-executive chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan and fellow director Jamie Reuben.
Asked about her role, she told the PA news agency: “I’ll be very hands-on, very hands-on.
“I won’t be picking football players, but I will be very hands-on on the commercial side, on running the club, on making sure that we deliver a business plan and a strategy that helps drive the commercial revenues that allow us to invest in players.
“My team will be based at St James’ and I will be here a lot.”
Once dismissed as a time-waster by Ashley, Staveley refused to let her hopes of taking control on Tyneside die, and she and her partners – Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and RB Sports & Media – eventually got their wish after the sportswear magnate had launched a two-pronged legal battle.
She said: “To be fair, my story with Mike started slightly oddly, a few people would say, but I’ve grown to really respect him. He worked hard to make sure that the deal got done, he’s worked tirelessly.
“There were some times when I thought we wouldn’t get there, but the fans just kept writing and saying, ‘Don’t give up’.
“We had 10,000-plus letters and I just kept thinking, ‘I’ve got to get there, I’ve got to get there, we’ll get there’.”
Staveley’s vision for the club is wide-ranging and extends beyond the current on-field plight of the first team – the new owners insisting they are yet to make a decision on the future of head coach Steve Bruce after a winless seven-game start to the new season – with the Magpies’ women’s side a particular focus.
She said: “Look, we want to invest at every level of the club.
“We don’t want to just invest in players, we want to invest in the Academy, we want to invest in the medical facilities, the training ground, we want to work with the surrounding community and support the fantastic work that Newcastle Foundation has been doing as well, that’s important.
“Personally, I’m a big fan of women’s football – I’m a girl that never got to play football, so I’d like to see investment into Newcastle’s Women’s team.
“Rest assured, we are going to invest heavily into the club at all levels.”