AMANDA STAVELEY has promised the Toon Army “world-class” players.

Newcastle first need to replace Geordies boss Steve Bruce, who is set for the sack following the £300million Saudi Arabia-backed takeover.

Antonio Conte was an early favourite but the Italian has ruled himself out of a move to Tyneside.

SunSport understands Brighton boss Graham Potter is in the frame having impressed the Magpies’ new owners.

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 lined up for a role.

Former St James’ Park and England winger Chris Waddle said the first signing “needs to set the place alight”.

And joint-owner Staveley said: “We are in the market to compete for world-class players.

“We have great ambitions — I hope it’s going to be a game changer for Newcastle United.

"But if you don’t put the infrastructure around that world-class player and you don’t have a team that can play with him, you’ll get nowhere.”


One of the most urgent priorities is the sub-standard training ground most Championship clubs would be embarrassed by.

New part-owner Staveley said: “The training ground is really awful and needs a huge amount of investment.

“Luckily, that is one area we are not restricted by Financial Fair Play.

“There is no point in having fantastic players if there is nowhere for them to train.

“We are in the market to compete for world-class players.

“But if you don’t put the infrastructure around that world-class player, you’ll get nowhere.

“To me, Newcastle is like a fantastic gem — it just needs a bit of buffing up at every level.

“To get to the top of the Premier League you need a strong foundation, not just great players. They need to be robust and we need to build them.

“We also want to invest in St James’ Park — it needs a little bit more love.”

Toon’s Darsley Park HQ was neglected for years under Ashley.

Things may have improved slightly since players were snapped in wheelie-bins doubling up as ice-baths and paddling pools for a cool down, but not much.

A local gym’s swimming pool is still used, injured players undergo rehab at a nearby health club and scouts are tucked away in a scruffy portable cabin.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund owns 80 per cent of the club, with Staveley and the billionaire Reuben brothers taking ten apiece.

David and Simon Reuben own Newcastle racecourse — along with swathes of other Tyneside property.

If the club choose to leave Darsley Park, there is development potential at the racecourse. The grand Woolsington Hall out towards the airport has also been mooted as a possible venue for a new training centre but Staveley was tight-lipped about specific plans.

One thing she is sure of is the kind of team she wants to roar on in Ashley’s old seat in the Milburn Stand.

The academy will become a central pillar as they look to unearth the next Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer and Chris Waddle.

We are in the market to compete for world-class players. We have great ambitions — I hope it’s going to 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 her Mags to reflect them.

She added: “They’re unique. Why? They’re passionate, they’ve got heart and they’re brave — and I love people who are brave and honest.

“That’s how I built my business, being passionate and not giving up.

“And that is definitely how I want the team to play.

“When doing the deal, at fans’ forums, I was always amazed and so impressed with them. I am a Northerner, a local girl, so I appreciate what it means.

“We already have some world-class players but we want to make sure they have the support around them.

“They should not be 19th and we need to challenge that straight away.”

Staveley, 48, has been trying to buy Newcastle for four years and she revealed that her six-year-old son told her last year that the deal would never happen.

Now she is buzzing about stepping out into a sold-out, electrifying St James’ Park against Tottenham a week tomorrow.


She said: “It’s almost four years to the day since I started this — it’s been such a strange journey.

“I have a six-year-old son who has followed the deal all the way through.

“When he was five he said, ‘When are you going to get it, Mummy? You’re not going to get it’.

“I don’t know how I’m going to be at the game. I have this little thing in my head — 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 that develops!”

She can expect a raucous welcome when she does emerge to the Toon Army.

Asked if she will be comfortable with 50,000 adoring eyes on her, she beamed: “Oh my God, yeah!

“I’ll be with the fans. I’ll be there all the time.”

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