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Paper asks fans whether manager should survive

A regional daily that was banned by its local football club for most of last season is now carrying out a readers’ survey on the club’s future.

Journalists from Newcastle daily The Chronicle have been banned from the press box at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park ground and have been forced to watch matches from the stands.

Last month the paper’s readers chose P45DUE as the headline on a story about the future of beleaguered boss Alan Pardew.

Now the paper is carrying out a more detailed survey, asking not only whether the manager should survive the close season but also who was to blame for the team’s slump in form and whether fans are happy with the current owners.

Despite the fractious relationship between the club and Newcastle’s three Trinity Mirror-owned titles, the paper took an even-handed approach in a preamble to the survey published on Sunday.

It said:  “Alan Pardew has had his say, the TV pundits and journalists have told us their opinions – now the time has come to tell is YOUR view on Newcastle United’s efforts in the 2013/14 campaign in this year’s Big Toon Survey.

“In some people’s eyes the campaign has merely demonstrated that United will never get anywhere until they start investing in the team on the pitch and showing some ambition rather than churning out positive balance sheets.

“Others can see what Newcastle chiefs are trying to achieve in building solid foundations on the finance front and building for the future.”

Chronicle editor Darren Thwaites said the paper was aiming to gauge fans’ opinions three times a year – start of season, January transfer window and end of season.

“We’ve already had more 3,000 surveys completed with several days still to go – so it looks like this will be our record ever response. We’ll be publishing the results online and in print throughout next week,” he added.

Last month Mr Pardew responded to questions about the team’s recent performances by saying:  “I don’t think the local press have helped.”

He also claimed that some local journalists had “a bit of an agenda” after being banned from the stadium by the club.