WHAT a week!

Last Friday we were told by ex-chairman David Sharpe that we came within hours of going out of existence, the bailiffs were knocking on the door, we were in special measures with the RFL and quickly needed £50k to pay the staff.

On Sunday, the exploits of the last couple of weeks caught up with us on the field with a jaded performance against a classy Halifax side going for promotion.

The game was won in the first half with Barrow trailing 30-10 at the interval. A good 20 second-half minutes saw Barrow score a couple of converted tries and we were back in with a shout at 30-22.

Sadly, Halifax went up a gear and put the game out of reach with a further three converted tries to make the final score 48-22. They have certainly improved since our Good Friday defeat at The Shay and half-back Ben Johnston was outstanding as the Raiders couldn’t lay a finger on him, directing the play and scoring a couple of tries.

So no disgrace in losing to Halifax, but we must gain a few more victories to secure our status in the Championship, starting with Dewsbury Rams away tomorrow. The Rams started the season well, but have only won one of their last 14 League games – and that was against Batley Bulldogs at the Summer Bash.

However, they have drawn with Halifax since their Craven Park defeat 58-32, but last week took a massive knock losing at Swinton Lions 29-28. They are fighting for Championship survival as well and, with Rochdale Hornets at home to Swinton this weekend, there is a possibility that they could slide into the relegation zone should they lose.

There is a lot at stake tomorrow and I think Dewsbury are a much better side than their league position suggests. They are a big, physical side and this week added strength to the squad with the signing of highly-rated centre Adam Ryder from financially-struggling Keighley Cougars.

Barrow, without a victory on the road, will have to improve significantly to get anything from the game, but at least we should have a pretty decent team out with the return of Ryan Fieldhouse and the two loanees Ryan Burroughs and Johnny Pownall.

Two points here will put us in touching distance of survival in this division, but we must now develop a strategy for survival as club or else all of this effort will be in vain.

For the die-hard supporters to only learn of the financial predicament last Friday was poor, but according to David Sharpe’s statement he didn’t know either. He resigned on Monday and on Thursday the club announced that Steve Neale was stepping into the hot seat.

Best wishes to Steve and his fellow directors, I know how much dedication and focus is required and the amount of time taken up in trying to improve the clubs fortunes can be a thankless task.

There is a saying that if you keep doing the same things you will get the same result, and for me this is the crossroads moment at which we must change direction.

We have to be bold. We are one of the few clubs who own our ground, but so what?

An under-utilised asset has become a liability. Apart from a few events in the Raiders Bar, the ground is only used about 20 days a year, so we have to find a way of attracting new support and using it every day of the year or else we will never generate enough income to become a sustainable success both on and off the pitch. This is key and the club has to develop a workable strategy to make it happen.

That means developing the Duke Street end of the ground and creating a new facility, including a seated stand, changing rooms, gym, press boxes, corporate boxes and most definitely a function suite which would be open to the public seven days a week, with the opportunity for live acts of a weekend much like the good old days of the ‘Rugby Club’.

It would also provide the opportunity to improve the match-day experience with pre-match meals and post-match entertainment, attracting new public and commercial support.

This can’t be done in isolation, so there obviously needs to be dialogue with a number of stakeholders – including the council, local business and, preferably, Barrow AFC. Having two deteriorating stadiums is madness and for me both clubs need to have a serious discussion about ground-sharing at Craven Park.

Only one per cent of the Furness population attend the games, which is pretty bad, and now we are expecting those who won’t attend to pledge money into a virtual stadium and stay at home.

I would rather let everyone in for nothing to create an atmosphere and take the profit from the extra food and drink sales.

We have to end this cycle of depression and replace it with a cycle of success; more revenue means a better team which means more success which means more revenue.

None of this is easy; it’s a significant risk, but what’s the alternative?