Newcastle co-owners Staveley and Ghodoussi ‘to leave’ St James’ Park after three years

Joe Williams
Newcastle PIF takeover
Newcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley and husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi

Newcastle United co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi are set to leave St James’ Park, according to reports on Wednesday.

Staveley played a key role in Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) takeover of the Magpies in November 2021 as they ended Mike Ashley’s long reign at the club.

Newcastle, who are 80 per cent owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, have enjoyed a significant resurgence since Staveley and her partners completed their £305million takeover.

The Geordies achieved Champions League qualification at the end of the 2022/23 season, while Staveley moved a step closer to achieving her dream of seeing Newcastle compete in the Women’s Super League after securing promotion to the Championship last term.

But now The Athletic claims that Staveley and Ghodoussi ‘are to leave the club after three years at St James’ Park’ but the former ‘is expected to continue to work with PIF and remain involved in football’.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe recently warned the club’s development under its Saudi-backed owners is not a race as he attempts to rein in expectation.

Having admitted they had over-achieved in finishing fourth last season, head coach Howe is acutely aware of the need for patience as they attempt to take the next steps within the Premier League’s strict financial rules, which are currently the topic of intense debate.

Speaking in May, Howe said: “Everyone wants to grow the club quickly, but I don’t think you can look at it as a race. The club will progress at the rate it can within the rules.

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“I understand everyone wants success yesterday. My job sometimes is to control that and give a truer picture of what is happening at the football club.

“Yes, we are trying to grow it but the players and staff have done incredibly well in the time I have been here.

“Our progress rate has been really quick in my opinion and everyone has done incredibly well, so I understand the demand for more, but you have to reflect that we’ve done OK so far.

“The ambition is there, but you have to work within the reality and the reality is we are not the number one club off the pitch yet in terms of income or the number one club in lots of areas, so for us to get there takes a lot of hard work.”

PIF’s purchase of a controlling stake in Newcastle proved to be the prelude to significant further investment in sport – domestic football and golf in particular – by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, prompting suggestions that the Premier League club could become an increasingly small priority.

However, fund governor and club chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan was on Tyneside last week as the hierarchy plots the way forward and Howe is confident the commitment remains undimmed.

He said: “They are very serious about it. I have seen no indication otherwise.

“The issue is in those sports, you can possibly invest whatever you want. Here, you certainly can’t and I think that is the thing, and that is a talking point for everyone connected with football at the moment.”