Amanda Staveley reveals Saudi consortium looked at Chelsea before buying Newcastle

The Newcastle director insists the north east club were the only choice as Roman Abramovich prepares to sell the Blues amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine

Jack Rathborn
Thursday 03 March 2022 15:48
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Roman Abramovich makes ‘incredibly difficult decision’ to sell Chelsea

Amanda Staveley insists the Saudi Arabia-backed consortium looked at Chelsea before opting to purchase Newcastle.

The Newcastle director was asked whether the consortium is now kicking themselves after Roman Abramovich revealed his intent to sell the European and world champions.

The Russian billionaire’s decision to sell the club he bought in 2003 comes amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine and the threat of sanctions from the British state.

But Staveley, who led the Saudi-backed takeover of the Magpies for £305 million, insists they only had eyes for the north east club.

Staveley said at the FT Business of Football Summit: “‘We had the opportunity to look at Chelsea - a wonderful club.

“But there was only ever one club for us, there will only ever be one club for us."

Staveley then added that she thought it to be unfair and “sad” that Abramovich was being forced into selling Chelsea.

She said: “There will always be geo-political issues. Sad that someone [Abramovich] is having a club taken away from them because of the relationship they may have, I don’t think that’s fair.”

The 55-year-old Russian billionaire, who is facing the threat of sanctions from the British state, said that the net proceeds of the club’s sale will be donated to a charitable foundation “for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.”

“I would like to address the speculation in media over the past few days in relation to my ownership of Chelsea,” Abramovich said in a club statement.

“As I have stated before, I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart. In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club’s sponsors and partners.”

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