AMANDA STAVELEY promises toon army “world class” players.
Newcastle will first replace Geordie’s boss Steve Bruce, who is set to be sacked after a £300 million Saudi Arabia-backed takeover.
Antonio Conte was the early favorite but the Italian ruled himself out on the move to Tyneside.
SunSport understands Brighton boss Graham Potter is in frame to impress the Magpies’ new owners on the south coast.
They want to ensure an English identity at the club – who are now the richest in the world – with ex-Liverpool transfer guru Frank McParland poised for a role.
Former St James’ Park and England winger Chris Waddle said the first signing “needs to set up the venue”.
Asked whether Newcastle would now be interested in signing the likes of Kylian Mbappe – who could hold talks with clubs in January – United boss Stavli replied: “We are in the market to compete for world-class players.” Huh.
“We have big ambitions – I hope this is going to be a game changer for Newcastle United.
“But if you don’t have the infrastructure around that world-class player and you don’t have a team that can play with him, you won’t get anywhere.”
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One of the most urgent priorities is a substandard training ground that most Championship clubs would be embarrassed by.
New parts owner Stavli said: “The training ground is really awesome and requires a huge amount of investment.
“Fortunately, this is an area on which we are not restricted by Financial Fair Play.
“There is no point in being a great player if there is nowhere for them to train.
“We are in the market to compete for world class players.
“But if you don’t have the infrastructure around that world-class player, you won’t get anywhere.
“To me, Newcastle is like a magnificent gem – it just needs to buff a little bit at every level.
“To reach the top of the Premier League you need a strong foundation, not just great players. They need to be strong and we need to build them.
“We also want to invest in St. James’s Park – it needs a little more love.”
Toon’s Darsley Park headquarters had been neglected for years under Ashley.
Things may have improved a bit as the wheelie-bins doubled as ice-baths and paddling pools for players to cool off, but not much.
The swimming pool of a local gym is still used, injured players undergo rehab at a nearby health club and scouts are kept in a poorly portable cabin.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund owns 80 percent of the club, with Stavley and the billionaire Reuben brothers each taking ten.
David and Simon Reuben own Newcastle Racecourse – along with other Tyneside property.
If the club wants to leave Darsley Park, the racecourse has potential for development. The grand Woolsington Hall on the airport side has also been touted as a possible location for a new training centre, but Staveley was silent about specific plans.
The one thing she’s sure of is what kind of team roar she wants to roar to Ashley’s old seat at the Millburn Stand.
The Academy will become a central pillar as they look to locate the next Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer and Chris Waddle.
We are in the market to compete for world class players. We have big ambitions – I hope it will be a game changer for Newcastle United.
But while a team full of Geordies may be a stretch, Staveley has fallen in love with the locals and wants his mags to reflect them.
She continued: “They are unique. Why? They are passionate, they have heart and they are brave – and I love people who are brave and honest.
“That’s how I built my business, being passionate and never giving up.
“And of course I want to know how the team plays.
“While doing the deal, on the fans’ forums, I was always amazed and very impressed with them. I’m a Northerner, a local girl, so I appreciate what that means.
“We already have some world class players but we want to make sure they have their support.
“He shouldn’t be 19th and we need to challenge that immediately.”
Stavley, 48, has been trying to buy Newcastle for four years and revealed that her six-year-old son told her last year that the deal would never happen.
Now she is in discussions about making the move to a sold-out, electrified St James Park against Tottenham in a week tomorrow.
She said: “It’s been almost four years since I started this – it’s been such a strange journey.
“I have a six-year-old son who has followed through on the whole deal.
“When he was five he said, ‘When are you going to get it, mom? You’re not going to get it’.
“I don’t know how I’ll be in sports. It’s this little thing in my mind – watching on TV or live – where I go, ‘If I don’t stop running, we’ll score’.
“I have these really weird rituals . . . we’ll see how it develops!”
She can expect a raucous reception when she joins the Toon Army.
Asked if she would be comfortable with 50,000 loving glances at him, she smiled and said: “Oh my god, yes!
“I’ll be with the fans. I’ll be there all the time.”
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