PRE-SEASON is done and this week should be all about the excitement building up to the first game of the campaign for Newport County AFC.

But for many County fans the big League Two kick-off risks being overshadowed by worrying news from the club’s boardroom.

The Exiles announced on Friday evening that Simon Sadler and Neil Collier had resigned from the board of directors.

A statement from the Supporters’ Trust, the club’s owners, read: “The Trust can confirm that both Simon Sadler and Neil Collier have resigned from the board of directors.

“Simon has been pivotal in keeping the Trust membership operating over the last three years. His decision to resign is a personal one and will now allow him to focus more on his career.

“Similarly during his time as a director Neil has done some excellent work with encouraging young supporters to attend games and has resigned due to work commitments.”

And that news was swiftly followed on Sunday by Rob Santwris announcing on Facebook that he too had resigned as a director.

Santwris, who was elected to the board in January alongside Ryan Courtney, Colin Faulkner, Bob Herrin and former South Wales Argus editor Kevin Ward, posted: “I’m no longer on the BOD of Newport County.

“I promised that if elected it would be on the transparency vote. Sadly I can’t deliver what I set out to do.

“I wish everyone well. Please all get behind and support the club.”

The club issued a short statement on Santwris’ departure this morning: "Director Rob Santwris has tendered his resignation to the board of directors. This has been reluctantly accepted. 

"Whilst Rob has only served as a director for a short time, since being elected, he has made a positive contribution to the club. 

"The board of directors wish to place on record their thanks to Rob for his valuable and enthusiastic contribution." 

Sadler and Collier reportedly offered their resignations several months ago and it appears to be unfortunate timing that the announcement was followed so quickly by Santwris’ decision.

But there’s no denying that losing three directors in as many days does not look good and it’s led to a lot of concerned County fans flooding social media and other online forums with apocalyptic predictions over the club’s future.

The limited information from the club on the resignations and the silence on a number of other matters – most importantly the relationship with the WRU, their landlords at Rodney Parade – has not helped the situation, allowing toxic rumours to be spread unchallenged and concerns to multiply.

Some supporters, who have already seen their club go the wall once, are understandably concerned.

At the same time as Sadler and Collier’s resignations were announced the Supporters’ Trust did give an update on the fans’ survey on the ownership of the club.

“The Newport County AFC Supporters’ Trust would like to thank the 750 people that took part in the recent consultation regarding future ownership of the club,” added the statement.

“We are now in the process of analysing the data and will be holding a public meeting on Thursday, September 20, (venue to be confirmed) where we will share the results and outline next stages.”

The directors, who are unpaid volunteers with full-time jobs, cannot be expected to respond to every rumour or fan’s concern.

Just this weekend, manager Michael Flynn expressed his frustration at internet speculation when he dismissed a story that he was selling Padraig Amond to Plymouth Argyle for £300,000.

And most supporters will accept that many things are too commercially sensitive to speak about publically before they are settled.

But a little more communication and openness a little more often would go a long way to calming the mood around the club.

And that can only help Flynn and the players who must put all these issues out of their minds as they prepare for what will be a very tough examination at Mansfield Town on Saturday.

The manager, Wayne Hatswell and Lennie Lawrence have been working hard in the transfer market and yesterday secured their eighth signing of the summer in Tyreeq Bakinson.

If Flynn has his way there will be one or two more in before the transfer window shuts and the signs are that, on the field at least, the Exiles are in decent shape ahead of the new season.

I for one hope to be concentrating on the football rather than the boardroom and I’m confident that, off-field stability permitting, Flynn can continue the progression the team has shown since he took over less than 18 months ago.