The close of the transfer window has stirred the dissidents into action. Another protest is demanded, but this time the suggestion is not to stand around the Billy Bremner statue voicing our concerns but to boycott our League Cup clash against Manchester United. 

I feel your pain Leeds fans. I’ve been an outspoken supporter of the campaign to rid our club of Ken Bates since day one. But this could be the most pointless idea I’ve ever heard.

It’s not that I don’t understand the theory, it makes complete sense. If everyone refuses to buy tickets for a League Cup clash, Bates misses out on his big pay day and our point is made. We follow up by threatening further boycotts if he doesn’t sell up which should, in theory at least, force his hand.

Couple of problems with that one however.

Firstly, this is Leeds v Manchester United we’re talking about. Two clubs who have enough fair weather fans to fill every stadium in the country twice over. For every person that boycotts the game there’ll be another 100 happy to snap up your ticket.

Even if we could get every supporter to boycott this game, leaving a few thousand Man Utd fans wondering where their once fierce rivals have buggered off to, what’s the best case scenario? Financial problems? This is Bates’ only area of expertise. He’s spent most of his life making debt miraculously disappear into some mysterious offshore black hole.

You’re fighting fire with petrol I’m afraid.

But even if this idea was a valid one with a chance of success, there’s a line here I simply refuse to cross – I’m not going to stop attending games because of Bates. That’s taking it out on the team too.

And what happens next? The League Cup game is one thing, but for a boycott to have any success it has to be sustained over a long period. That means it has to extend to League games – many of us have already bought season tickets, how stupid would we be to boycott a game we’ve already paid for?

Protest is one thing, and we do need a concerted effort to help rid us of Ken Bates. But “hitting him where it hurts” won’t work I’m afraid. He’ll ride out every wave of financial trouble with a smug grin on his face and keep coming back for more.

The only way Leeds will rid themselves of Ken Bates is by proving the second takeover was illegal. We were on the right track with the protests as it drew attention to our struggles – it’s the complaints of fans that prompted the select committee and have BBC making a documentary.

But in the absence of a united voice for the supporters like Love Leeds, Hate Bates, our message was easily distorted by the club. Our anger was dismissed as knee-jerk and reactionary following a slow summer on the transfer front.

If you want to boycott the Manchester United game, that’s fine. With the ridiculous ticket prices for this tie, no one would blame you. But don’t kid yourselves into thinking it’s a protest – that message can only harm our efforts.

When the game sells out regardless of this so called protest, you’re giving Bates further evidence to back up his “dissident minority” lies. I can just imagine his smug reaction on Sky Sports;

“Protest y’say? What protest? The Leeds fans love me. I am their saviour after all!”