Newcastle owners did not pursue Chelsea, Liverpool or Tottenham because 'why spend billions?'
Newcastle United director Amanda Staveley says the club's owners decided to invest in the Magpies over the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham because it was cheaper.
Staveley's consortium, partnered with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, purchased Newcastle in October 2021, paying around £300million, and she explained that one of the key reasons for doing so was so more money would be left over to invest in the club than if they had bought a more expensive alternative.
Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit, Staveley also pointed to the fans as a driving force behind deciding to buy the club.
"I think if we look specifically at Newcastle, we were very clear that prior to buying the club, we wanted a club with a very passionate fanbase," she said. "But we also wanted a club that we could buy affordably, because we're also partners with PIF and they are, effectively, a pension fund, managing money for future generations.
"So we wanted something that was very sustainable, and that we could build. We didn't go for the wonderful Tottenham and Chelsea and Liverpool and obviously, everybody knows I was a massive Liverpool fan.
"We tried to buy Liverpool, and when we walked into the Newcastle game, we said 'why spend x billion when you can actually spend 300 and some million and put in?' I think we've put in £200+ [million] to date of new money since we bought the club. We had a particular business plan based on a five, 10, 15-year timeline.
"Critical to that plan was making sure we had the right partners...PIF are very long term investors."
Staveley also explained why it is unlikely that the PIF would also look to invest in another Premier League club, despite previous links to Manchester United.
"Mehrdad [Ghodoussi, co-owner and Staveley's husband] and I are not wealthy," she said.
"Jamie [Reuben, co-owner] obviously is an extraordinarily wealthy gentleman, we're the poor partner, but that helps govern a lot of the decisions – so there's no scenario where Saudi Arabia will decide to sell Newcastle to buy one of the mega clubs like Manchester United."
Staveley spoke about the challenges since arriving at St. James' Park, including in player recruitment where the owners are mindful about what head coach Eddie Howe wants for his team.
"If I did it all again. I think we should have probably brought in more people more quickly," she said. "Players or staff... the players we had to be just very careful and analytical on everything we did and we still do that.
"Because we have an FFP budget we keep to... that guided a lot of our transfer policy but we couldn't afford to have a dud player. And so we had to make sure that we built at the back so that we [could] start to play the football that Eddie wants to play, this fantastic pressing football that we love and exciting attacking football.
"But to do that we needed to make sure that we could really strengthen because we had, I think, the weakest defence in the whole league, and now we have one of the strongest. And that was really important.
"So we always want more players. But the problem is, especially when you're running a football club, you don't really want to lose the players that you've worked with, and Eddie's the same, and so it's really difficult. So we've got to do that."