Amanda Staveley's proposed takeover of Newcastle United has been further complicated by the demand for a compensation fee if the club are relegated from the Premier League this season.

Staveley's PCP Capital Partners firm have submitted a £300m (€338m) bid for the Mike Ashley-owned club.

But the prospective new owner wants a reimbursement clause included based on Newcastle's performances on the field that will be triggered if the club lose their top-flight status this season, according to Sky Sports News.

Rafael Benitez's side are currently 11<sup>th in the Premier League after 12 matches and approach the festive period five points from the drop zone.

The clause would pile even greater pressure on Benitez, who was close to walking out on the north east club before the start of the season after missing out on a series of transfer targets during the summer transfer window.

Former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss Benitez, who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, appealed for funds to improve his squad in the summer to ensure his side are not dragged into a battle for survival during the second half of the campaign.

And with Ashley reportedly planning not to support Benitez in the upcoming January window – should he indeed remain as owner – then the potential for Staveley's fee to be reduced is unlikely to be considered.

Ashley instead wants payments of £60m over a five-year period to complete his exit from Newcastle, whom he has owned since 2007.

Sky News reported on Monday [20 November] that Staveley had firmed up her interest in Newcastle with a formal offer that sits below the £400m Ashley had been hoping to recoup for the St James' Park club.

The takeover will be financed by a combination of Staveley's equity and that of major investors, some of which hail from the Middle East. Both parties are hopeful a deal could be complete before Christmas however the latest demands could see negotiations extended.

Both Ashley and Staveley have instructed their lawyers to thrash out a compensation deal, which is likely to trigger a fresh takeover offer from PCP before the end of the week.