Amanda Staveley is set to become the new owner of Newcastle, with Mike Ashley set to cash out. But who is she? Sam May takes a look…
Staveley, 44, runs PCP Capital Partners and set to replace the outgoing Ashley. The Sports Direct tycoon is expected to cash out and hand over the club to the financier and her mystery backers, for just over £300million.
Following talks in London, it seems the deal for Staveley to take over at Newcastle is almost complete. Involved romantically with Prince Andrew, Duke of York, she met her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi, when he worked for her company.
The businesswoman has one child, Alexander (Lexi), who she has had with Mr Ghodoussi, and ended up in labour following a business. They also married in 2011, and now work’s between Dubai and their London apartment in Park Lane.
Her company is backed with £28billion in funds from China and the Middle East and she wants to become who of the biggest figures in football. She has an incredible business mind and is no stranger at cutting deals.
Staveley and PCP helped broker Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of Manchester City from Thaksin Shinawatra in 2009. She was initially spotted in the stands at St James’ Park in October when Newcastle took on Liverpool in the Premier League.
Fenway Sports Group had previously rejected an approach from Staveley, who was looking to take a share in Liverpool. It isn’t just football that she is interested in however, she also enjoys horse racing.
She is the daughter on Robert and Lynn Staveley. Her father founded the Lightwater Valley theme park in 1969 while her grandfather, Ralph, was successful running a betting business and, later, Doncaster dog racing track.
Staveley attended Queen Margaret’s School in York and had a keen interest in sports. She left school at 16 and took her A-levels in a single year before being accepted into Cambridge’s St Catharine’s College to read modern languages.
After packing in her degree, Staveley took out a £180,000 loan to open the restaurant Stocks between Cambridge and Newmarket. With no formal training, she “lived and breathed business and banking” both studying for her future roles in the city and working as a waitress. Opening her Newmarket restaurant in the Middle East it is here where she started to make her money. She was then named Businesswoman of the Year in 2000.
But after selling a 49 per cent stake to EuroTelecom, a company which flopped in the collapse of the Dotcom boom, but after buying back her stake in Q.ton in a complicated deal the company failed.
She will join Southamton’s Katharina Liebherr, West Ham’s Karren Brady and Ann Budge of Hearts in becoming one football’s prominent women figures.