There has been plenty of talk of alternative protest from some fan quarters this week. From security breaches, stopping team busses and a few suggestions too. I’m desperate for Ashley to leave NUFC, but there are flaws in all of these plans in my eyes. Ashley doesn’t care about this stuff.

He doesn’t care about bad publicity. He doesn’t care about impact on players or staff. He cares about one thing, and one thing only. Money.

I used to think there were a few options open to Newcastle fans. One was (and continues to be) the NUFC Trust. Their campaign to build some cash reserves to give fans a chance to be at the table should the club come up for sale is admirable, and one I have signed up to.

I would suggest any fans who want to participate in protest do the same. It may not work today, or tomorrow or in a year. But when the time comes, we are speaking the same language as everyone around the table. Money.

The second is a more simple one to an extent, and that is to do something to impact Ashley financially. I have stopped going to his tat warehouse and have avoided it for some time. I haven’t bought any NUFC merchandise for a hell of a long time, and nor will I.

As someone who isn’t a regular match goer due to where I’ve lived for the last 6 years, avoiding giving Ashley my money at the turnstile has been quite easy. Still, in my own protest I have avoided subscription TV packages too so that I am not contributing to the premier league cash cow, which Ashley in turn benefits from. I watch matches through alternative means, or at the pub with pals.

It’s not perfect, and may not achieve much but I feel I am doing my bit. That in itself is part of the problem. I’m doing something different to the next person, and and the next person, and so on.

This leads me to solutions. What CAN we do. I have often felt the biggest issue for protest in NUFC is having an alternative. Plenty of people have plenty of different ideas on how to protest Ashley’s ownership of the club. If they want to cancel a game and stop the team busses, who am I to tell them not to. Good on them for being proactive. I would just ask what the point is?

When Man United fans stormed Old Trafford it was to protest the ownership. The same ownership who have since brought back Ronaldo, plus bought Sancho and Varane in to improve things. Maybe their protest worked to an extent then – you could argue it changed something.

The thing is, their world is different ours. They want to see Man U operate as world leaders. We want our owner to not treat us and our fans with contempt.

Perhaps the next alternative is something else that Man United fans have done. This brings me back to alternatives. I often think that NUFC fans can’t and won’t turn their back on the club, because what else can they do? Where next? You can’t pick another club.

Maybe we can build one though.

That sounds bonkers, and I considered deleting this and taking this blog down a different path. The reality is though, all of the protests mentioned above are negative.

They cost us something as well as the owner and that’s wrong. Be it missing the match, not buying our kids shirts, or if we storm the ground, arrest! It shouldn’t be this way. Why don’t NUFC fans who are committed to protest create a Newcastle United in the image we want it to be. A fan run club. Cheap tickets. Not gambling companies slapped on every hoarding. I am well aware this isn’t easy, and I will not be the one doing the organising just yet, but I think having something positive to turn to if you walk away from the club would make the protest a little more palatable.

This boils down to one reality though, which ultimately is the point of this blog. NUFC fans don’t agree of any of this. For everyone who supported the carrying of the coffin to a match a few years ago, there’s people who think that’s daft.

Myself among them. The late walk ins and boycotts have come to nothing really and certainly haven’t lasted, showing a lack of belief there. Even the Trust and the fantastic work they do are shot down regularly, especially online.

If Newcastle United fans want change, we need to agree on something. Anything, and stick to it. Even if in the first instance you don’t agree with it, or even believe in it.

The longer the fanbase is disunited in its desire to protest, the longer those protests will be ineffective. I know people will criticise this sentiment even, and they are welcome to. It is a sign of a fractured fanbase which doesn’t know where to turn, so are willing to try anything to get rid of the poison coursing through every turnstile at St. James’ Park.

By all means, support the bus stopping plan, or set a club from grassroots like I suggested. Until we do it all together, as one, it’s doomed to fail.

When Mike Ashley looks back at his time at Newcastle United, he may well consider his ability, somehow, to fracture the fanbase, his biggest asset.

Dai Rees – @colemans_dream