Finance guru verdict on Newcastle United chief Amanda Staveley derailing Mike Ashley takeover bid
Mike Ashley’s deal to buy the CBS Arena – and possibly Coventry City – will likely go through regardless of the outcome of his legal action against Newcastle United chief Amanda Staveley.
That is the view of finance expert Doctor Dan Plumley, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the possible return to football of Ashley, who owned the Magpies between 2007 and 2021.
The Sports Direct and House of Fraser billionaire sold the club to the Saudi Public Investment Fund for £305million in October last year, with Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners playing a key role in orchestrating the deal.
Staveley, who has since been installed on the board at St James’ Park, was loaned £10m by Ashley as part of the arrangement.
Ashley alleges that the Middle East financier broke the terms of the loan deal by painting a false image of the club’s finances after his departure, and he now wants the cash repaid early.
The Daily Mail reported last Friday (4 November) meanwhile that Ashley is laying the groundwork for a cut-price acquisition of Coventry City after being named the preferred bidder for their 32,000-capacity home, the CBS Arena.
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But Plumley does not believe that the takeover deal will be in any way dependent on the outcome of his legal action against Staveley.
“He has always been on the fringes of takeovers since his departure from Newcastle,” the Sheffield Hallam University expert told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“He was close to buying Derby County and now there’s the CBS Arena. So, we might see him come back into the football landscape.
“He will want this loan situation sorted out as quickly as possible. But given the way he operates, I don’t get the sense that would hold up the deal for the CBS Arena. That will go through independently of this.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean a full takeover of the club because there is a lot going on in the background here.
“With the repayment of the loan, he will want to tie things up quickly but I don’t think the two will be dependent on each other.”