A regional daily editor changed his paper’s front page today after being inundated with messages about it on Twitter.
Newcastle daily The Chronicle had initially issued an ultimatum to Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley after the club’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed last night.
Running with the headline ‘Keep Rafa… or go’, The Chronicle urged Charnley to persuade manager Rafa Benitez to stay in charge at United, or quit if he was unable to do so.
As a result, the headline was changed to ‘Keep Rafa… then go’, urging Charnley to depart his role after securing Benitez’s services.
Readers’ comments on the change varied from “outstanding” to “That is why the local press is so important. Well done.”
In a series of tweets, Darren wrote: “Fans are telling us Charnley must go regardless – we’re reconsidering the front page.
“The power of public opinion changes our front page to this (pictured below).”
Darren told HTFP: “It’s a sad day for the city to see the club relegated for the second time in eight seasons.
“There’s an outpouring of support for Rafa Benitez but real fury at the wider management of the club and managing director Lee Charnley.
“Initially we planned a front page calling for Charnley to go unless he secured Rafa’s services.
“We tweeted it out with Sunderland leading 3-0 and got plenty of support on social media. But many fans suggested Charnley should go regardless.
“It was clear from the reaction that the fans had lost faith completely so we quickly made the decision to make the message even stronger.
“Designer Gary Beckwith drew up both pages, adding to his collection of powerful and award-winning Newcastle front pages over recent years.”
In March, The Chronicle’s sister title the Sunday Sun ran a back page editorial calling for Benitez’s predecessor Steve McClaren to be sacked.
However, despite an upturn in performances since the switch, United were relegated to England’s second tier after local rivals Sunderland beat Everton 3-0 to survive.