Barrow AFC board member, and National League director, Sid Blain has insisted the governing body’s first priority is to ensure all of its clubs have survived by the time football is finally played again in this country.

There is no word yet of the National League following the lead of the Premier League and EFL and extended the suspension of the current season until the end of April due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is widely expected for it to do so imminently.

However, the affects of the campaign being halted have already started to be felt amongst its 68 clubs, with Barnet announcing on Tuesday that they would be putting on non-playing staff on notice of redundancy.

It was reported in The Athletic that the league will ask the Football Association for £17 million that would help their clubs get through what is an unprecedented period in its 41-year history.

While Blain has said no discussions of financial aid have taken place, Dagenham & Redbridge managing director Steve Thompson his since claimed it could up to £20 million of government money for clubs to survive the outbreak.

Blain said: “The National League itself is trying to look after the 68 clubs who are members and that is the number one priority.

“The fact is a lot of the clubs will be struggling and it’s something that’s not going to go away.

“Whether or not we’ll be playing the season out is something that will be decided in due course, but the priotity has to be that there are 68 clubs to play the games.”

Each club is currently filling a form for the National League in which they are outlining the cost of not hosting any games while still paying staff, after which the financial issues of English football’s fifth and sixth tiers will be discussed.

The hiatus couldn’t have come a more inopportune time for Barrow AFC, as they are potentially nine games away from promotion to the Football League and attendances at Holker Street have soared as a result.

Blain, a longtime supporter of the Bluebirds, said: “What can I say? After 48 years, this happens, but it’s something that nobody has ever experienced before.

“The nearest thing to it was the 1963 ‘Big Freeze’ when the game was shut down for three months, but that was from January to March but they still finished the season by the middle of May.”