Boycott: Should I stay or should I go now?

It has been a tough week.

Another Derby defeat, in what was a very poor performance, has led to the calls for a mass protest against Spurs in our next home game.

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I have read the various articles, comments and opinions of many people regarding the issue, which seems to have divided us as fans.

Now before I start, I want Ashley out as much as the next man. He clearly couldn’t care less about us as fans but is this the right way to go?

So should we stay away, protest and let it be known we are finally at breaking point, or do we go and support the team through thick and thin, like we always do?

Staying away would generate massive press interest, no doubt, but is it the type of publicity we want? Would it really have any affect on how NUFC is run? I seriously doubt it.

Most likely it will make us look like a laughing stock to the rest of the country, and possibly deter any future investors from considering NUFC as an option.

Will it change Ashley’s view as to how the club is run? Simple answer, no.

Staying away will not bother Ashley in the slightest, in fact you could well imagine him actually enjoying it. He would probably be rubbing his fat little hands together with all the free publicity Sports Direct will get as a result. The financial impact of us not attending will be pocket change to him, and I imagine he would take great pride in being the reason we as fans have decided to boycott a game.

The tabloid press would certainly have a field day with the story though. The good old Geordie faithful one again giving the rest of the Football world a good laugh. Is it something we can handle? of course. Is it something we want? No. The only people who really benefit here are the journalists who take great delight in seeing us fail.

Would it affect the performance of the players? Possibly not given the recent atmosphere at St. James’. Maybe an empty stadium with no pressure from the fans might be a welcome relief for the team. Ok, maybe not!

I would think the travelling Spurs fans will probably not join us in protest, so the thought of them having the run of St. James’ Park is not one that fills me with joy.

Ok the atmosphere hasn’t been brilliant this season, much like the performances, but this is the time we need to rally round and show our support. We pride ourselves in being the loyalist of supporters even when things are bad, let’s prove it.

I get that staying away would send a message out, but is it really the best way?

For this to have any real effect, then everyone who has a ticket for next Sunday would need to stay away. That’s never going to happen.

Personally I will still go, after all this is my club. I supported them long before Ashley came and I will support them long after he has gone.

If you want to protest, fine, that’s your right as a fan, and I don’t disagree with your reasons for it, just the method.

Would it not be better to protest before, after, half time or full time? If you are worried about giving Ashley your hard earned money then don’t buy a pint, programme, pie or whatever else you may usually get from inside the ground.

We still need to pick up points this season, in order to be safe, creating an atmosphere in which the players can perform in is our responsibility, we can’t do that by not attending.

The fans define the club, not the boardroom, so for 90 minutes next Sunday let’s show why we are the best supporters in the country.

As a great man once said…

“What is a club in any case? Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it.

It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes. It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city.

It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.’

See you there next Sunday.