Make no bones about it, the news that Derbyshire has reported a profit of £23,310 for the season of 2012 is a mini-miracle. The figure may well have been even higher has it not been but for the necessity to purchase industrial-sized containers of ointment to treat trench foot...
I jest about the latter, of course, but it was an appallingly damp and miserable summer, one that would have been deemed eminently forgettable but for the fact that we emerged as the best side in division two. Champions, just in case anyone has memory issues on a Saturday morning or wants to bask in the thought for a little while longer.
For the point of record, such a profit was around £4K more than that announced by Nottinghamshire earlier in the week. If one compares the size of the two clubs, Derbyshire's achievement is all the more remarkable. That is six times in seven years that the club has finished in the black and sincere congratulations go to everyone involved.
The amount of hard work and organisation that £23K reflects needs to be recognised by supporters and is indicative of a club in which everyone plays their part, on and off the pitch. From the warm welcome given by gate staff, to the professional attitude of the girls on reception. From the willingness of the marketing team to work long hours to make sure that we're kept informed and those involved in corporate events to ensure the function is special. Everyone has played a part, not just the team that performed so well in 2012.
It's the little things that make a club stand out though. The willingness to chat to supporters, sign autographs, pose for photographs or attend an event is crucial in the public perception of the club and it is here again where Derbyshire score heavily. It is a well-run club, but it could be that, yet distant, perhaps aloof.
When I have spoken to players, or their wives and partners, the thing that comes through time and again is their sheer enjoyment at playing and being somewhere where they feel both valued and appreciated. It doesn't happen at every club (no names, of course...) but when it does there is a greater likelihood of loyalty, a commodity that will be of inestimable value to Derbyshire in the years ahead.
If we can retain the young talent that is currently forcing its way through, the likelihood is that a young side that is nowhere close to its peak will thrive and flourish over the next five summers. We've got young batsmen coming through, spinners in Peter Burgoyne and Tom Knight and - wait for it - some seam bowlers of genuine potential after a somewhat barren period. Keep your eyes on the Academy and Seconds this summer, because from the likes of Higginbottom, Evans, Davis, Marsden and Cork our next genuine county seamer will emerge. I fully expect at least one of these lads (bear in mind that some are younger than others) to make a strong push for higher recognition this year.
Having said all that, we are now entering a crucial two to three weeks in our club's history. The vote to change the way that it is run will be taking place and it is vital, absolutely vital, that every member takes the opportunity to support the club's plans.
Continued ECB support for such things as ground development is dependent on county clubs moving with the times and introducing management structures that are fit for purpose. The ECB naturally want to ensure that the money that they hand out is going to be spent prudently and wisely by people who have specific skill-sets relevant to the job in hand. Willing volunteers are one thing, but for Derbyshire to be able to move with the times and be one of the trail-blazers, the club needs member backing of their plans.
If you need to hear more, attend the Forum at the County Ground a week on Monday, or the one at Chesterfield the following week, where you'll hear committee members, including those who will not have a likely role in the new structure, stressing how crucial your vote is to our future.
Don't think 'I'll not vote as it doesn't matter' as you couldn't be more wrong.
And if you vote against it, out of some misguided feeling that we're alright as we are, then you are effectively giving a first tender kiss of death to a club that is on the verge of something special.
There may be cricket club casualties in the next ten years as the figures being announced around the country verify.
Your 'yes' vote in the next couple of weeks will ensure that Derbyshire isn't among them.