A Millers tale
Their offices are in Rotherham, they train in Doncaster and play in Sheffield. Welcome to the world of Rotherham United.
It hasn't been so much a rollercoaster ride for the Millers in recent years as a spectacular freefall that has twice almost ended in a very terminal crash.
The problems started after Rotherham's four-season tenure in the Championship came to an end in 2005. Predictably, the problems were of a financial nature and have seen the club twice enter administration over the last three years. Each time the Millers came perilously close to liquidation.
The financial crises have resulted in three different points deductions from the Football League. Since defender Ian Sharps joined the club in August 2006 he has had to come to terms with a total loss of 37 points. Showing an adroit mastery of understatement, manager Mark Robins told me the player has had to "endure a lot of adversity".
Robins might have been talking about his own situation since his appointment in March 2007 following a period in temporary charge.
When he was offered the job permanently the former Manchester United striker consulted several experienced managers who had taken over at financially trouble clubs.
"They were telling me to get out of there because it is so energy sapping," said the 38-year-old.
Robins accepted anyway but could not prevent the Millers from slipping to relegation in the final stages of the 2006-07 campaign. And he is absolutely adamant that the club would have won promotion last season but for the financial problems that came to a head. The club was issued with a 10-point penalty in March this year that saw them drop down to 11th in the table, while there was a period when players went unpaid.
"It is difficult keeping players focused when they are not being paid, even the ones that only earned £150 a week" Robins told me. "It made a big dent in what we were doing on a day-to-day basis."
A further 17-point penalty was issued in the summer while the club left their long-term home Millmoor for the Don Valley athletics stadium in Sheffield after failing to reach an agreement with their landlords.
After such a traumatic first 18 months in the job Robins could surely be forgiven for wondering what he had got himself involved with.
Had the thought ever crossed his mind? "No. I wanted to try to help the club out of their situation.
"We certainly don't want people feeling sorry for us. We want to get on with it and face up to the challenges that are there."
And Rotherham have been dealing in spectacular fashion with the challenges they have encountered so far this season.
Last weekend the Millers came from a goal behind to defeat Grimsby 4-1 and now sit 22nd in the League Two table with one point to their name to be in the black for the first time this season.
Rotherham have also defeated Sheffield Wednesday, Wolves and Southampton in the Carling Cup and showed a clinical touch in front of goal on Wednesday to brush aside Yorkshire rivals Leeds 4-2 in the Johnstone Paint Trophy.
In conversation Robins is measured with his replies and obviously very switched on. He is also focused on what comes next, not what lies some way down the line. I asked Robins whether he could now start to think about promotion. "I don't even want to talk about the play-offs. Our next goal is to make sure we stay in the division."
Robins reasons that the Millers will have to accrue more than 90 points to clinch a play-off berth - a total that would ordinarily win a team automatic promotion and was only reached by a Milton Keynes Dons team with much greater resources last season. Had it not been for the points' deduction, Rotherham would currently be fourth in the table.
Nonetheless, the manager is delighted his players have cleared the deficit so quickly. "We could not control the sanctions, only our performances and results." And even if Robins is refusing to think about the play-offs he does admit that "the season starts now".
For the first time in several years there is a real sense of optimism around the football club. Rotherham are looking forward rather than over their shoulders.
OK, things are far from perfect but there is a plan, a strategy. The club are currently looking for a new training ground in Rotherham and hope to have it ready for the start of next season. Robins was able to bring in players over the summer and is happy with crowds so far this season, which have twice been in excess of 5,000.
Robins attributes this revival to the arrival of new owner Tony Stewart earlier in the summer.
"It bottomed out when the chairman took over. It wasn't just words - we have heard it all down the years - you could see that he had a plan and would make sure he implemented it."
Robins, who describes his time in charge as a learning curve he does not want to repeat, clearly has great respect for Stewart.
And although remaining understandably cautious, the manager is now looking forward to happier times.
"It has been a difficult period in the club's history and one we don't want to repeat. There is a hell of a lot to do but things are starting to look brighter. It is like the rebirth of a football club."