More than 15,000 readers have backed a regional daily’s bid to keep a football manager in his job.
The Chronicle, Newcastle, has launched a petition calling on Rafa Benitez to stay in charge at Newcastle United despite the club’s relegation from England’s top flight on Wednesday.
The campaign began with an open letter to Benitez, which was carried on this morning’s front page, signed by ‘The Toon Army’ – a nickname given to United supporters.
The letter was carried on the front page of this morning’s edition of The Chronicle, pictured below.
It reads: “Dear Rafa,
“We speak for the region when we make this plea. Everyone is right behind you and we’re desperate for you to stay. Please, Rafa, give us the football we deserve.
“At Chelsea, some supporters simply shrugged when you won the Europa League. At Newcastle, we’d immortalise you in a statue.
“So stay with us. Rescue us. Win for us and lead us back to glory!
“Yours hopefully, The Toon Army.”
Benitez took over at St James’ Park in March with just 10 games to save the club from relegation to the Championship.
He is believed to have a break clause in his contract allowing him to leave in the event of the club going down, but is considering staying on to get the club back in the top flight.
The campaign comes after Chronicle editor Darren Thwaites changed yesterday’s splash when fans urged the paper to call for United’s managing director Lee Charnley to quit.
Darren won praise from readers for the decision, with comments on Twitter ranging from “outstanding” to “That is why the local press is so important. Well done.”