David Holdsworth: Brave decisions are needed to help cash-strapped clubs
I want to start this week by saying a big thank-you to the Lincoln City supporters who went more than the extra mile to come down to Forest Green Rovers recently.
Trips like that overnight are not easy and they are certainly not cheap either.
Sadly, the result was not the best, but I'm proud of the determination the players showed and crucially that of the fans as well.
Their support was magnificent on what was a very tough evening for us.
It was a long journey for us all and it left me with plenty of time to mull over the set-up of the leagues in England.
When you are cramped up in a coach or car for a seven-hour round trip, you cannot help but wonder if it is not time for a regional structure?
Money would be the biggest driver. You can make several arguments about how you could save cash and also increase revenue.
Those who were filling up the petrol tank on the way to Gloucestershire last Friday would no doubt be cringing as the pounds spin round at the pump. And they would probably be thinking about the money they may have missed because they have had to take time off work to come and watch us.
We feel it as well at the football club.
The cost to travel to some of the clubs is a big one and if you want to prepare properly with an overnight stay, well, that's out of the question these days.
We are having to cut back on a lot of things at Lincoln. Players have to get their own meals while in the past they would have them provided and I personally drive three of them in to work each day.
Other clubs are having to be savvy as well. Barrow for example do not train in Barrow, they have their sessions in Manchester to ease the travelling costs for the players.
I also know of two clubs in Blue Square Bet North who train in Sheffield for the same reasons.
If we became regional the travelling costs would certainly go down.
There is also the school of thought that leagues with more local importance would create more interest for the fans. If that means better gates then clubs would see more cash coming through the turnstiles. But is this all a bit of a pipe dream?
I think it is a matter of time, but the biggest problem we face is getting people to understand and see the financial constraints we are battling with.
I sometimes wonder about the people in charge.
I do not believe they see the fine detail of costs that myself and other managers have to deal with.
I would like to see a change, but that can only come if the managers get the chance to get their views aired. At present I just do not feel the communication is there.
I think the Conference is a good league, but if it wants to progress it needs to open up the dialogue between all of those involved.
I'm talking about managers, referees and the league's officials all engaging far more than they currently do.
Hopefully change will come, but people need to be aware of the issues we face and must be up for tackling them too.