Carolyn Radford has admitted to questioning why she is still involved in football - but says her love of Mansfield Town keeps her going.
The Stags CEO was speaking to Sky Sports’ Football’s Real Stories series in which she covered a wide variety of topics, which can be viewed in this video.
In it Mrs Radford touched on how she handles the doubters, the business side to football, the progress made in the last eight years and what the future may hold for the club.
She said: “There have been many points where I thought what am I doing, why am I involved in football? I’m getting so much flack, do I need it, and my reasoning for keeping going is because I’m so passionate about this football club.
“I adore seeing the differences that we make, we’ve just won the EFL family club of the year, and that shows the huge achievement in seven, eight years that I’ve been here, where we walked into a football club with no resources, it’s a completely transformed place, which makes me really happy.
“I just keep my head down, I try not to listen to the noise and people’s commentary on what I’m doing, I just try and just get on with the job, because I think if I did listen to a lot of the comments that get made I probably would just go to bed and cry, and think I don’t want to go into work anymore.
“So I just keep my head down, keep focused, and that’s what we tell the football players to do as well, because say they miss a penalty, or we lose a game, or there’s all sort of factors involved in football, we are humans, we’re real people, but a lot of the people that make comments on social media or in general, see you as not real, and not human.
“So it can make it quite difficult when you’re getting a lot of grief.”
Mrs Radford arrived at Mansfield in 2011 and was left under no illusions of the size of the task ahead.
“When I arrived at Mansfield for the first time it was a club very much on its knees, it hadn’t had much investment, lots of parts of the stadium were very rundown, it needed to be loved, it needed somebody to care about it again,” she said. “So I saw it as a big challenge.
“Me and my mum were in the kitchens making lasagne for the hospitality suites, and yeah, putting all the pies in the oven for the kiosks, we didn’t have any resources at all, we walked into nothing.
“And so I can definitely say that I’ve done every job around this football club, which gives me great insight when I’ve got to, you know, delegate and direct people, because I know how long a pie takes to cook.”
That knowledge of all aspects of the football club has served to only strengthen her love of the job.
“I think the people are surprised that I’m still here, sometimes I am too,” she smiled.
“But I enjoy what I do, and my successes are visible now for everybody to see, eight years on in the role, and I’ve worked really, really hard to get this football club to the level it’s at at the moment, we’re completely unrecognisable to when I walked in the building, and that’s really great.
“I hope that it proves that tenacity and hard work, be it from a man or a woman, does pay off dividends in the end.”
On the pitch, Mansfield are well-placed in the automatic promotion race going into the final throes of the League Two season.
“It will hurt if we don’t get promoted at the end of this season,” she said.
“We’re all pointing in the same direction in that respect, the manager’s been given a budget to get us promoted, everything’s geared up to get big crowds in, it would be very hard if we don’t get promoted.”