I HAVE often wondered why football fans bother to protest at matches. Do they really think it works?

Take last weekend's walk-out by Newcastle United supporters in their match against Cardiff City.

Ignoring the fact that everyone knew the 69th minute was the cue for the Geordie faithful to up sticks and leave, thus somewhat ruining the impact, few bothered anyway.

What organisers hoped would be a mass walk-out in protest against owner Mike Ashley and manager Alan Pardew at their running of a club without a trophy since 1969, looked little more than a few extra people heading to the bar.

I struggle to see what Magpies fans hoped to achieve. Surely, if they really wanted to make a statement to Ashley, they would have been better off not going to the match in the first place.

An empty St James' Park would have been much more effective than paying and leaving 20 minutes from the end of a game Newcastle won 3-0.

By turning up, fans are only adding their support, financially, to the very person they are trying to influence. Handing back a season ticket is pointless as well, because the club have already banked your cash.

But staying away in the long term or not buying merchandise is the only way I can see billionaires like Ashley taking any notice - when the money stops coming into the club. Without something radical like that, the status quo will prevail.

Yet fans won't do that on mass, either out of loyalty or blind devotion, and Ashley must know that.