How Amanda Staveley played key role in Newcastle United owners’ fresh sport power grab

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Amanda Staveley has been integral to the LIV-PGA merger.

Newcastle United’s owners have had a busy couple of days, first announcing the financing of the top four Saudi Pro League football teams and now LIV’s merger with the PGA golf tour.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund founded LIV Golf in 2021 to rival the established PGA tour and since then the pair have been locked in disputes and a legal battle which was predicted to last for years, if not decades.

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The disruption came to a head last year when the PGA allegedly banned and fined the golfer who defected to the new tour. The LIV golfers then filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour in response to their suspensions. Which was then followed by a countersuit against PIF, specifically naming Newcastle United non-executive chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

Newcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley.Newcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley.
Newcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley. | Getty Images

However, yesterday, the rivals sent shockwaves through the sporting world when they announced they would settle their differences and merge- ending golf’s civil war.

This means Yasir Al-Rumayyan will now chair the Board of Directors of the new PGA-LIV Golf entity.

Significantly, however, the merger success can be put down to the peacemaker skills of another United owner.

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Newcastle United director Amanda Staveley was enlisted to settle the dispute before the trial date, travelling to the Masters in April.

Newcastle United’s Saudi Arabian chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan (L) and Newcastle United’s English minority owner Amanda Staveley (C) applaud the players ahead of the English League Cup final football match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium, north-west London on February 26, 2023. Newcastle United’s Saudi Arabian chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan (L) and Newcastle United’s English minority owner Amanda Staveley (C) applaud the players ahead of the English League Cup final football match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium, north-west London on February 26, 2023.
Newcastle United’s Saudi Arabian chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan (L) and Newcastle United’s English minority owner Amanda Staveley (C) applaud the players ahead of the English League Cup final football match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium, north-west London on February 26, 2023. | AFP via Getty Images

According to the Daily Mail, she had been ‘heavily involved for months,’ meeting Rory McIlroy before Christmas to try and sway him.

McIlroy rejected a £400 million package to join the LIV tour and was one of the most vocal against the new setup.

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Staveley was integral to PIF’s takeover of Newcastle United in 2021 and so was their go-to when it came to trying to avoid a financially draining legal battle.

The director was also perhaps enlisted because of the impact the courtroom saga could have had on the club. Earlier this year, Al-Rumayyan challenged the court from seeing documents associated with LIV on the grounds it violated  “the sovereignty of a foreign state.”

PIF were only permitted to takeover Newcastle United after it was legally assured the Saudi State was not involved.

In the golfing world, PIF has come out on top and will ‘make a capital investment into the new entity to facilitate its growth and success.’

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