Toontoon.co.uk has been alerted to a range of reader comments that have been deleted before publication. These comments appear under the articles that Chronicle “journalists” produce. What’s going on? 

A variety of readers have apparently become disgruntled about the state of journalism at supposedly the leading regional newspaper covering Newcastle United. The Northern Echo and Shields Gazette, let alone the still banned Luke Edwards at the Telegraph, are beyond reproach but the Chronicle are ruffling a few feathers. 

A number of supporters welcomed a return to John Gibson. He mentioned a chat with Tommy Cassidy, a 1970s legend having appeared in both an FA Cup final, League Cup final and being part of a team that qualified for the UEFA Cup, let alone being on the winning side against Sunderland with a particularly memorable goal. The gist was that Tommy’s nephew was one of those who coughed up for the weakened team and abject performance against the Premier League’s bottom club in the FA Cup. 

A number of those comments were deleted as others have been on other reports. 

It is sad that under this regime, his nephew is unlikely to see the same sort of glory that Uncle Tommy is able to talk about over Christmas dinner. What are the “reporters” at the Chronicle telling us? 

Of course, the NJC group had been banned by Newcastle United after reporting the Time for Change march against the current owner of the club. At the time they ran the famous slogan “banned but not gagged”. As supporters we started to see some articles that reflected what we were seeing going on at the club. 

Some of us remember the days of Tommy Cassidy, when Gibson was at his peak, how as schoolchildren we would congregate around the Journal after wearing our platform boots for a kick-around on the school yard. Whoever sneaked out to buy the Chronicle at lunch time was a hero, bring us the latest news, particularly for cup games. 

With the end of the Pardew career at Newcastle, NJC have been reinstated. We have been treated to a stream of articles about the “5 things we need to know”. Various prospects have been featured, Glenn Hoddle, Steve McLaren, Eddie Howe. The 1 thing we really needed to know was not a part of those articles – that they had all discounted themselves from the job. 

The classic among these has been from Lee Ryder on the German Tunchel; “He is a family man and his interests include furniture design, while his favourite film is Any Given Sunday”. Clearly his interests and film choice are paramount in his selection as a leading candidate. 

Neil Cameron might be interpreted as testing the water with his piece on Carver, suggesting that he may be a candidate and “has the credentials to prove it”. Supporters have seen the draw against Burnley including a 2nd half capitulation, the under strength FA Cup team and the 2nd half capitulation at Leicester, the defeat against Chelsea and the 2nd half capitulation. Whilst suggesting that Garde may lack ambition Cameron advocates the current Derby County manager. Despite Carver’s affinity for supporters, including the challenge during the capitulation at Southampton, we can have our own opinion on Cameron’s assertion. 

Mark Douglas does better, in highlighting on Pardew that “To those of us outside the corridors of power at Newcastle it has been apparent for a while that a new direction, a fresh voice and an injection of impetus was required”.  Obviously Mark is welcome to correct us on this but the number of articles where he seems to advocate such a change seems to be the roundest number of them all, a big fat 0. 

Perhaps the best of the lot is reserved for Lee Ryder who contradicts Mark Douglas (Rod Hull’s born again emu?) when he says that “taking time to get the right man for the job at Newcastle may not be such a bad thing”. Lee went on to patronise us by categorising supporters, including “you have those who are still shaking off some type of nineties hangover that the club is capable of reaching the heights of Kevin Keegan when they had one hand on the Premier League trophy”. 

He seems to forget that we are the 3rd best supported club in the country. Sadly we have moved on from the nineties. 

Ryder also points out that “Chelsea and Manchester City were not being fed off tycoons”. He fails to point out that other less well supported clubs have sought to take advantage of the sort of lapses that ManUsa had last season, that Liverpool have suffered and indeed that we suffered when Shepherd refused to support Sir Bobby with anything other than free transfer Lee Bowyer before the Partizan game. He fails to point out that only two of four the Champions League clubs this season are owned by a multi-billionaire and that ours is the only multi-bilionaire who has a “no capital outlay” policy. 

He went on to say “You do have realists who can see that Newcastle aren’t going to get anywhere near the top four anytime soon”. Some of those “realists” are envious of clubs who will have a go, Southampton, even Allardyce’s West Ham. 

Sometimes it seems that the reports we get from our former favourite newspaper are written by school children, Googling the various candidates and providing a variety of trivia of he 5 things we need to know. Sometimes it seems that Harry H Corbett is behind the scenes but if you close your eyes, it is hard to tell which of the “journalists” is Sooty, which one is Sue and which one is Sweep who makes the occasional squeak. 

There are a load of questions where intrepid reporters could put the club on the spot. If there are 3 or 4 candidates, who are they? If Santon can make the bench and Jonas can outlast him in reserve team matches, is our Argentine hero being treated fairly? What is the difference between Carver and Basil Brush?  Is Ashley using retail philosophy to generate January sales?

Come on Chronicle, you have a proud heritage. Rather than censor, please stand up for your readers. Get us some, facts. Put pressure on the club. In the views of the Chronicle, is the “power of the press” an aspiration or is it merely a distant memory?