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At the start of October, no one further north than Morpeth or south of Middlesbrough really knew who Amanda Staveley was but, in a matter of weeks, the global footballing community has become well acquainted with the 48-year-old. This is partly down to the fact that Staveley is the face of the recent Newcastle takeover that has been largely financed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. To be precise, the Saudis have put up 80% of the money needed to buy Mike Ahsley out whilst Staveley and her husband, Mehrdad Ghodoussi, have a 10% stake along with the Reuben brothers who have acquired the remaining 10%.

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It’s undoubtedly a development that has shaken the football world, given that the PIF of Saudi Arabia is worth £320 billion alone. Unsurprisingly, with Newcastle’s eye-watering newfound wealth, the world’s media has been desperate to establish how ambitious the club plan to be, which is why we have all become familiar with Staveley, given that she has been the consortium’s spokeswoman. 

From what we’ve heard so far, it’s fair to say that Newcastle’s new owners don’t intend to make up the numbers after Staveley confirmed that the plan is to take the Geordies to the top of the Premier League table. Whilst Staveley admitted that it won’t happen overnight, she insisted that Newcastle’s new owners are in it for the long haul and have big ambitions for the future. This is in stark contrast to their current predicament where the latest Premier League predictions have suggested that Newcastle will finish in 17th position come the end of the 2021/2022 season, which ultimately means they will avoid relegation by the skin of their teeth. 

Needless to say, Staveley’s bullish approach will be music to the ears of the long-suffering Newcastle fans who feared the drop this season. With this being said, how realistic is Staveley’s vision for the club’s future? After all, if the Toon are to climb to the summit of the Premier League, they will need the world’s best players, who won’t come cheap. It has been suggested that the club will need to spend in excess of £1 billion on new recruits to match their ambition but, then again, that is a drop in the ocean for the PIF of Saudi Arabia. Rather, the bigger hurdle will be convincing the world’s best players to make the city of Newcastle their home. 

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One should point out at this stage that Newcastle has plenty of appeal as a city. Indeed, its vibrant nightlife, culture, and history make it a great place to live. The only problem is that you could say that about most cities in England that are home to a Premier League football team. 

The point is, given Newcastle’s geographic location and how poorly the club has been run over the last 14 years, they will have to pay over the odds to tempt players to move up there. At the end of the day, one thing the Premier League is not short of is money and the league’s best clubs won’t have to break the bank to compete with Newcastle’s new wealth. In most instances, they will be able to match any salary but can crucially also offer an established base from which to win trophies. With this in mind, you do wonder if money alone will be enough for Newcastle to build a team that is capable of winning the Premier League.

Yes, Amanda Staveley and her consortium have deep pockets, but as things stand, not much else going for them. 

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