BARROW AFC manager Ian Evatt sees no reason why Barrow AFC shouldn’t be promoted if the coronavirus pandemic ultimately causes the end of the 2019/20 season to be cancelled.

The National League yesterday finally suspended the campaign until April 3, meaning the Bluebirds won't be playing again until their match at Eastleigh the following day, at the earliest.

Several of their players are currently in self-isolation after showing symptoms during last weekend.

With nine games of their season remaining, AFC sit four points clear at the top of the table and close to promotion to the Football League after a 48-year absence, during most of which they’ve shown no sign of returning.

However, with the future so uncertain, there is all manner of speculation as to what happens with the the rest of the campaign in this country, including the notion that the whole thing may be declared null and void.

This wouldn’t sit right with Evatt, however, who said: “Nobody could argue after 37 games of a season that you’re not where you deserve to be.

“If you’re playing a football match on a Saturday and if something happens after 70 minutes of a game, the result stands, even if the match gets abandoned, so why should that not apply to a football league season?

“It baffles me, really. We’ve worked and fought so hard to be as consistent as we have to get ourselves in this position that we deserve to be where we are after this length of time.

“We’ve been top for four months so why should we be punished for something that’s no fault of our own?”

One of the sticking points of this, is the argument teams near the bottom of divisions have that there is no guarantee of them being relegated with eight or nine games of the season left.

The self-interest of both sides of the coin is why the authorities are facing such a conundrum in the coming weeks.

Evatt said: “That’s what you’re going to have; you’ve got clubs that are just going to try and protect themselves but the facts are that over so many games they haven’t been good enough so they find themselves in that position.

“There’s no guarantee, either way, that they’ll get out of it. They might say they’ll get out of it, but who’s to say that?

“You can’t guarantee that, but the facts are that over a length of time - three quarters of the season - you have been one of the worst teams, so it’s just the self-preservation from some clubs that are going to come out.

“There’s the German model where they’ve spoken of increasing league sizes for next season where the teams in automatic promotion spots are promoted and there’s no relegation in the leagues, which are just bigger.”