‘SUSPEND and restart the season in August’ chairman Paul Lawler tweeted after the North West Counties League was adjourned until further notice, but Barnoldswick Town boss Andy Clarkson is a lot more damning in his views.

He reckons null and void will be the approach taken, much like the result of the 2019-20 campaign.

Barlick have been one of the most fortunate clubs in the Premier Division, able to complete the second most amount of games (8) this term.

But another lockdown until at least mid-February means the prospect of finishing the 'non-elite' league on time seems very slim.

Clarkson said: “We are obviously devastated with the news but lives matter more than football. 

“I think it will be null and void. There will be no promotion or relegation and I think we will start again in August.

“If we were top of the league and looking like we were going well this season, I would be miffed off. But being in the position we are in (16th), maybe it is not a bad thing. 

“Of course, I would rather finish the league off because we look like we have turned a corner and results would have come our way, especially with the games coming thick and fast in January and February. 

“Playing twice a week, we would have been in the top half of the league.”

That corner Clarkson is referring to came in the form of a 2-0 win over Padiham on Boxing Day.

The manager has been unable to really get going at his new club, only coaching his side on two league occasions since being appointed in November.

He will have to revert to the methods adopted during Barnoldswick’s period of isolation upon his arrival as training is forbidden.

Clarkson added: “I have come into the job, played a couple of games and now it has been stopped again. I am gutted.

“We wait to see what happens with the league now, the lads can do their own fitness.

“We have got a Whatsapp group where all the players are doing their own work. 

“I can’t road run anymore but I will be getting involved in my back-garden videoing myself doing all the home exercises proving if the manager at nearly 50 can do it so can the lads in their 20s.

“All the lads are up for keeping themselves fit until the season starts again then we have got a chance in climbing the table.

“It is all down to the restrictions. I cannot see it starting again until at least March.”

Clarkson also discussed the impact Covid-19 is having on people’s mental health.

“That’s why I applied for the job. My mental health was suffering a bit doing nothing. 

“Even when you are off for two weeks, you are just vegetating at home and your mental health suffers. 

“Everyone knows sport is massive and I think it would be good to get back as quick as we can for everyone’s mental health state.”