IT’S not been a good week for Newport County AFC on or off the pitch.

Michael Flynn and his team were the victims of a baffling refereeing decision as they went down to a 3-0 defeat at Notts County on Saturday.

But the off-the-field problems are a little more complicated.

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde; losing one director may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose a second looks like carelessness.

County have actually seen four members of the board resign in the past 15 months with Charlie Hopkins last week following Malcolm Temple in September and Jon Bowkett and Tony Pring last year.

Pring aside, the other three have all quit after becoming disillusioned with the way the club is being run and it’s clear that the County boardroom has not been a happy place.

There will of course be disagreements at every football club and in the boardrooms of companies up and down the country.

As director and interim Trust chairman Shaun Johnson said at Thursday’s supporters open meeting: “There will be a level of discontent at any football club, regardless of where you are in the table or how things are progressing.”

But the Exiles seem to have more than their fair share of behind-the-scenes issues and, unfortunately for them, they have a habit of coming out into the open one way or another.

Admittedly that is good for us here at the Argus because, as the figures on our website showed last week after Hopkins’ resignation letter was leaked, people are interested.

As a sports reporter I’d rather be writing about football than boardroom back-biting and squabbling.

And some fans would undoubtedly rather be reading about the players and the manager rather than the directors.

But there is also an appetite for transparency from a fan-owned club and it’s hard to argue with that when the supporters have raised more than £200,000 to take control.

Fans do, of course, have the opportunity to put themselves up for election to the Trust board in the coming months.

But Hopkins and Temple fear that anyone who is elected will have little say in the day-to-day running of the club.

Hopkins suggested last week that Johnson, Gavin Foxall, Mark Crook and Peter Madigan have formed an “executive board in all but name.”

That and many other claims have been refuted by the remaining directors but Temple shared the same concerns.

The former Trust chairman, who resigned at the end of September, had also begun to question whether the Trust model was viable for County.

The likes of Exeter City and AFC Wimbledon have shown that fan-owned clubs can prosper but Temple became convinced of the need for outside investment in County.

That put him in conflict with the majority of his fellow directors, who are determined to make the Trust model work.

Johnson told fans last week: “I’m committed to the Trust model and I think all the current directors are committed to the Trust model.

“That’s what we’re working towards, that’s why we give up our time to make sure that the supporters – the owners – are represented at the football club going forward.

“That’s why we’ve tried to get the income streams up in terms of donations and membership.

“It’s fair to say that the distraction [last week] makes things a bit more difficult.

“It puts in question whether the model is viable going forward.

“In my view we probably need to start a debate on the viability of the model if we’re going to have situations and distractions that detract from the great work that the employees are doing.

“For the Trust to be successful there needs to be a level of stability and credibility for it to be able to develop and move in a direction of Wycombe, Exeter or Wimbledon.

“For that to take place there needs to be the calibre of individuals to put themselves forward to do the work involved to push the club forward.”

He added: “I genuinely feel there is an acceptable level of support for the Trust model at the moment.

“Whether it’s enough to push the club forward in finance terms is a different question.”

Discussions about outside investment have taken place this year but they came to nothing as the club has few major assets to attract another Les Scadding.

But Johnson insisted that any offers would be put to the shareholders and would require the backing of 75 per cent.

Hopkins also raised concerns in his resignation letter about the behaviour of certain directors, particularly Foxall.

I don’t know what goes on at board meetings but I do know from personal experience that the operational chairman can be a spiky character.

There is no doubting, however, his commitment to the club and it would be a real shame if he were to be forced out by personal abuse from fellow fans.

There are no simple solutions and no guarantee that the Trust can bring stability to the club.

But the remaining directors should reflect on the points made by Hopkins rather than dismissing them out of hand.

Whether or not changes are made, there will hopefully be a little more tranquillity in the corridors of power so that we can focus on the progress being made on the pitch.