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Amanda Staveley to leave Newcastle United

Amanda Staveley to leave Newcastle United
Amanda Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi are expected to leave the club before the new season starts

Amanda Staveley, the dealmaker who orchestrated Saudi Arabia’s takeover at Newcastle United, is to leave the club following a three-year spell as a director.

Mehrdad Ghodoussi, her husband and business partner, is also set to depart as the pair sell their remaining minor shareholding at St James’ Park.

Companies House records showed this year that Staveley’s stake had already been diluted to 6 per cent, with Reuben family shares increasing. Her outstanding ownership will now be taken on by the Reubens and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), Telegraph Sport understands.

Staveley, 51, played a key role in negotiating with Mike Ashley after securing backing from PIF, which eventually purchased an 80 per cent stake for £300 million in 2021.

The state-backed purchase proved to be one of the Premier League’s most controversial takeovers, with human rights campaigners bitterly criticising top-tier executives for approving the deal.

Staveley is a hugely popular figure with Newcastle supporters, but she has faced difficulties away from the club, having lost a bid to throw out a bankruptcy claim brought in March against her by Greek shipping tycoon Victor Restis.

Restis has been demanding £36 million from Staveley, accusing her of being personally liable for £3.4 million of the original loan, plus £2.1 million in legal costs and £31.3 million in interest. Staveley said she intended to appeal against the latest decision.

Staveley and her husband are expected to leave Newcastle before the start of the season. Her need for day-to-day involvement in running the club has lessened, with Darren Eales in place as chief executive and Paul Mitchell recently replacing Dan Ashworth as sporting director.

Initially, Staveley owned a 10 per cent stake after a long and protracted campaign to buy the club from Ashley, which began in 2017. Under the new regime, the club’s prospects have been transformed. Staveley and her co-owners sacked manager Steve Bruce within five weeks and appointed Eddie Howe, who guided the club to safety and then secured Champions League qualification in the season before last. Staveley and Ghodoussi were instrumental in bringing in high-profile players such as Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes.

Last season, hampered by injuries, the club finished seventh, narrowly missing out on a return to European competition. Staveley has also pursued an overhaul of the Newcastle women’s team, securing back-to-back promotions into the FA Women’s Championship.

Doubts first surfaced over her long-term status at Newcastle in March after filings showed she had resigned as a director from 20 Newcastle-related companies. Staveley said at the time that the changes “were purely administrative, to non-trading subsidiaries”.