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Daily bids farewell to football manager it fought to keep on patch

A regional daily has said farewell to a football manager whose departure it campaigned to prevent.

HTFP reported last month how thousands of Newcastle United supporters had signed a petition set up by Newcastle daily The Chronicle to retain the services of Rafael Benitez before his contract expires on 30 June.

However, it was revealed on Tuesday (24) that no such agreement had been reached and Mr Benitez will now leave the club on Sunday.

The Chronicle has previously run editorials and campaigns in favour of Mr Benitez, who took charge of United in 2016, along with several front page pleas to club owner Mike Ashley in recent years following a perceived lack of investment in players and infrastructure.

Rafa Gone

News of the manager’s departure provided a splash for The Chronicle yesterday, pictured.

John Gibson, who has worked for the paper for 53 years, wrote in a column: “We’re doomed! My headline boomed out from dawn on Monday morning and within hours it became dreadfully true.

“The Rafa Benitez love-in is at an end. He’s gone and with him hope has taken a hike.

“As a Geordie I’m used to being let down on a regular basis. I’ve been a fan since birth and have reported on my club for the last 53 years which means an awful lot of depressing downs and only the occasional high.

“However right now this feels as low as it has ever been. A rare opportunity to establish this club where it ought to be has been criminally squandered by an owner who admits he has lost the desire to do the job which is his responsibility.

“Mike Ashley wants out but he has allowed United’s greatest asset to leave instead. Now he must face the wrath of fans who are devastated by what has occurred in their name.”


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  • June 26, 2019 at 10:10 am


    Is HTFP now going to report the sports coverage of any middling Premier League club to the news of the manager leaving?
    I don’t think the rest of the world is that interested.

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  • June 26, 2019 at 10:18 am

    No, but given that in this case the Chronicle has fought a lengthy campaign to keep the manager, its coverage of his departure is surely a story for us as the trade website.

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