Two years ago Northwood were sinking in a tide of rising debts and threatening to go under.

New chairman Ian Barry came in to take charge of the lifeboat and since then, with a lot of hard work from him and a host of volunteers, they have put the club back on an even keel.

A week ago the Woods bobbed back into the Ryman One North promotion picture and with off-field activities beginning to flourish, the Woods are in with a chance of regaining the Premier Division status they lost in 2007.

That would represent a remarkable turnaround for an ailing club which, when Barry got involved, was struggling to deal with spiralling costs not least because of its unwanted switch to the Southern League with all the extra travelling that entailed, as well as falling income and attendances.

And while the chairman acknowledges there is still plenty of work to be done, the club is certainly heading in the right direction once again.

"The financial situation was horrific," admitted Barry. "I was presented with a pile of paperwork from debtors, all demanding money and stating what action they were about to take.

"One or two were clearly not far from closing our doors, so these needed to be addressed immediately but once this had been achieved, I had to make sure that we could pay them.

"We had the only catering van in the league that was losing money, the bar had been stocked to a point where the value of the stock was more than our monthly incomings and the function room was hardly used.

"We had a problem. The income fell well short of the outgoings needed and that's why we were where we were."

Barry called on friends and relatives to help him redecorate the function room so it could be hired out, he brought back former chairman Andy Johnson to manage the clubhouse and slowly but surely the money began to come back in.

On the field things were not so easy, but players who were three weeks behind with their wages were all paid up by the end of the season.

Then manager Colin Payne used 64 players that year as he found his budget cut more than once and despite a conscious effort to bring in those who were desperate to wear the shirt, the team was relegated, though not before it won the Middlesex Senior Cup for the first time in club history.

Having dropped in Ryman One North the Woods invested money in the pitch and dugouts in the hope that would send a clear message that they wanted play-ers to come for footballing reasons, resulting in their best playing surface for years and aided by the end of the groundsharing agreement with Weald-stone the following year, which brought in much-needed money but took its toll on the pitch.

This season, Northwood Park is hosting Women's Premier League football in the shape of Watford Ladies and other ways to bring in money have so far included a visit from England manager Fabio Capello, when the FA used the club to film their Respect campaign, two other visits from the BBC and hiring the function room to British Telecom for seminars.

The London Film Company has been down to film an American/English romantic comedy too.

Barry has also relaunched Team Northwood in place of an older scheme that was dwindling in interest and the new format now generates £1,500 per month.

The club pays out 20 per cent of money invested in the shape of three cash prizes, with a top prize of £200 and the chairman hopes to see it raise £5,000 per month in due course.

"The catering van is earning money again, the bar and clubhouse are kept in good condition, the feel good factor is back and the club is a great place to be again on match days," said Barry.

The club website, www.northwood gets an impressive 10,000 hits a week and the matchday magazine, which for a long time has been among the best around, was named Ryman League North programme of the year by Programme Monthly Magazine last season.

Summer soccer schools, a recently introduced mascot, Woody, and the fact that they run 28 teams including 20 youth sides and four women's teams, emphasise their status as an FA Community Club and this season they again host the Middlesex Senior Cup Final, having been removed from the list a few years ago because of the vandalism they had, among other reasons.

All is looking rosy again but Barry and his team of volunteers will not stop here.

They are in the process of setting up a fund-raising committee and are looking for people who feel they could make a difference, as well as a main sponsor which they have lacked for some time now.

"I work with some great people there and I will continue to devote my time, effort and where possible, money into the cause," said Barry. "In return, all I ask is that everyone continues to show me the same support they always have and though there will be the odd occasion we have different opinions, we all want to move forward and make this the best club around and one of which we are all proud to be associated with."

It's now down to Dave Anderson and the first team to see if they can continue the good work on the pitch.

* Northwood are still looking for new committee members including a commercial manager, as well as businesses who can provide any amount of money, no matter how big or small. Call Barry on 07956 121300 to discuss further.