Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey is happy for the rugby league season to be extended well into the autumn if it ensures clubs will survive the coronavirus crisis.

At present, the Rugby Football League’s suspension of the campaign lasts until April 3, with the Raiders scheduled to return to action against Cumbrian rivals Workington Town at Craven Park the following week.

However, the worsening nature of the outbreak means it is highly likely the ban on mass gatherings in this country will last beyond then, making an extension to that suspension is surely imminent.

Barring the Premiership, the rugby union season was ended last week, but the league campaign is still relatively in its infancy, meaning the authorities will be doing all they can to complete it if and when the pandemic starts to subside.

Crarey said: “We are expecting the suspension to go on and there’s no problem with that, especially in the rugby season, because when we went into summer rugby we finished with playing in the winter.

“If we have to do that again to keep these clubs alive, we’ll have to do that because we’ve got to do whatever it takes for the game to survive and for clubs to survive.

“There’s the sponsors to take into consideration and season ticket holders and some of the season ticket holders have openly said that if there is no season and it is cut short then they don’t want the money back.

“It’s an absolute credit to people that they’ll do that - you’ll get some who’ll want their money back, and stuff like that, but supporters are signing up to things like the ‘200 Club’ and Super Lotto to keep the club going. They’re hardened supporters and they don’t want to see us go under.”