IT’S been an excellent few weeks for Newport County AFC on the pitch but the minutes from the club’s August board meeting underlined the fact that there are major issues off the pitch.

Having bounced back from their opening day defeat at Mansfield Town with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Crewe Alexandra, County crushed Cambridge United in the Carabao Cup last week before holding League Two leaders Exeter City at St James Park.

And Michael Flynn and his players will be aiming to keep the feel-good factor going tonight when they host Notts County at Rodney Parade

“The boys are playing some very good stuff at the minute and they’re enjoying being together and being a team,” said the Exiles boss after Saturday’s draw at Exeter.

“They’re all together and they all get on and it’s a joy to be in charge of them.”

That was good to hear from Flynn because at times over recent months and weeks he has appeared to have the weight of the world on his shoulders.

The 37-year-old is nearly always good company but his unbridled enthusiasm for the job, which was such a key factor in his successful first year in charge, has been less evident over the past six months.

That is probably inevitable as the realities of managing in the fourth tier of English football hit home and the financial concerns behind the scenes at County are certainly not making life easy for Flynn.

The minutes of the August board meeting, which were published in redacted form last week, show that the club made a profit of just under £200,000 for the financial year up to the end of June 2018.

But without last season’s brilliant FA Cup run the Exiles would have recorded a £541,300 loss.

Coming on the back of the £350,000 loss made in the year up to June 2017, these figures again demonstrate that the current ownership model is not working for County.

At the last meeting with fans it was revealed that the Supporters Trust contributes just £30,000 to the club per year.

The directors asked fans to vote on three options for the future – maintaining the current supporter-ownership model, putting the club up for sale or a blended ownership model.

The minutes revealed that around 75 per cent of the 750 respondents opted for the hybrid model, which would combine Trust ownership with investment from businessmen and potentially the council.

Any change would have to be voted through again by Trust members and the club says work is continuing on proposals to be presented at the next supporters’ meeting on September 20.

The hybrid model looks the best option for County but, as has previously been highlighted, finding investors is easier said than done for a club that does not own its own ground.

And the relationship with the Welsh Rugby Union, the owners of Rodney Parade, is the other major issue for the Exiles.

The club claimed at the last fans meeting that costs have “increased by 100 per cent” since the WRU takeover of the stadium.

And director Kevin Ward warned that it’s “not viable” for County to continue to play at the city centre venue unless changes are made to the current agreement.

But Dragons chairman David Buttress, who was appointed by the WRU to lead the rugby region last September, insisted that the football club is getting a great deal.

“I would be astonished if anyone can stage professional football cheaper than we do,” he said.

“I see the numbers in great detail and I can’t believe how cheaply the team here stage a professional game.”

That public disagreement has been followed by a summer of discontent that has led County to set up a ticket office, club shop and now a fan’s bar off-site.

The latest minutes state that “positive progress is being made” in negotiations with the WRU and the Dragons on “a number of Rodney Parade issues.”

That is welcome news but it’s highly unlikely that County will be able to negotiate a reduction in match-staging costs.

And the minutes also revealed that director Peter Madigan stated the need for a “re-budgeting exercise” for 2018-2019 to reflect changes to the cost and revenue bases.

That has led to the playing budget being reduced and it’s a credit to Flynn, his assistant Wayne Hatswell and management consultant Lennie Lawrence that they have managed to put a squad together that appears capable of being competitive in League Two this season.