One of the interesting aspects of the role of Trust Director is looking at how other clubs in similar situations have survived and prospered.

An interesting example of this at the moment are our old Unibond foes down at Accrington Stanley, currently punching well above their weight in League One.

On the pitch, of course, they have the wily John Coleman at the helm, managing a tight budget and resurrecting the careers of the likes of Sean McConville who had a forgettable spell at Holker Street not so long ago.

All very impressive of course, however it is off the pitch where I think we have most to learn.

Transparency from the top seems to be key. When fans complained about giving parts of the home ground to visiting fans, chairman Andy Holt published all the costings behind the decision.

Looking at it financially, it was difficult for fans to argue and also gave them a sense of where the club needed to be.

At a fans forum this week, he was clear on the £1.6 million budget his manager had, also explaining where they were in terms of the league they were in (second lowest).

I think we are trying to employ the same common sense approach, with regular updates from Paul Hornby on our off-the-field activities and honest approach to maximising revenue from the Hartlepool visit by giving the whole of the Holker End to the away support.

Attendances at Accrington are up, as you would expect given recent success. However, sandwiched tightly between Blackburn and Burnley, they have to fight hard to get fans through the gate.

Barrow have a geographical advantage here if we get it right. A new supporters bar with offers has seen match day revenue increase markedly at The Wham Stadium.

Accrington have speculated to accumulate in the community, with cleverly targeted kit giveaways and initiatives.

Here, I think we too have made progress, improving our facilities over the summer for both players and fans. In fact, more has been done at the ground this summer than in the previous 20 years.

It’s not all grandiose work, no ‘lids’ on the Holker End nor hotels on the Popular Side. but eventually it will make the ground a better place to be and hopefully keep fans there longer, putting more money into our club and creating conditions for us to progress.

*You often hear directors, managers and indeed players bemoaning the online ‘football forum.'

I can see why – if I was a player or manager, I wouldn’t go near one.

Very few other areas of work have keyboard strategists unpicking aspects of your performance, criticising your employment choices and rumours on whether you will or won’t be laid off or rewarded.

It can’t be easy, having trudged off the park at Chorley last year after an appalling second half display, knowing you are a click away from an angry dissection of your lack of ability as a footballer.

So restraint and moderation are needed. However I would argue that our unofficial fans forum also has the potential to be a force for good.

Not all criticism is wrong and those who take part in discussions often have a wide range of skills and ideas.

It’s also a way of connecting much of the fan base, organising volunteers and meetings and generally keeping up to date with Barrow AFC.

One example is the good-humoured thread with the running total for the 1901 Club, which definitely has boosted sales. With some reservations, ‘The Unofficial' is a positive where fans can have an outlet to discuss the club they love.

*One area in football where there has certainly been progress off the field is with the profile of the Women’s World Cup in France, where the Lionesses bid for glory has had wide coverage.

The last time Barrow had an international of note pulling on the shirt with distinction was Gary Stevens, who played in the 1986 and 1990 World Cup.

It’s wonderful then to see one of our own, PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year Georgia Stanway, breaking into the national team and coming off the bench against Scotland.

An excellent role model and pupil at both Victoria and Dowdales, Georgia has always supported local football and Barrow AFC Community backed national initiatives such as ‘Only Girls Allowed’. Women’s football is a fast growing sport with new heroes emerging, such as Georgia, Lucy Bronze and Jodie Taylor.

England, of course, have successfully negotiated a tough start against Scotland and Argentina, gaining maximum points.

Hopefully, any Barrovian boy and girl watching this World Cup are able to see that a combination of hard work and talent can help you achieve your goals. Hopefully Georgia and the Lionesses can lead us to even greater heights during the month ahead in France.