Who cannot have seen our plans to open the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium as a giant beer garden when the Government allows the re-opening of the hospitality industry on July 4th?

Our provisional plans are to open every weekend; Saturday and Sunday, throughout the whole of July and August, weather permitting.

The club see this as a massive opportunity to help mitigate all those lost income streams from the last few months as well as providing a safe environment for the public to, once again, meet family and friends.

We are very safety conscious but we see the outdoors as our biggest advantage. We will restrict numbers for entry and have plenty of sanitiser stations around so people can regularly clean hands.

We will be issuing guidance to every entrant and our stewards will be fully trained, ensuring that all attendees respect social distancing as much as possible.

We have purchased a limited number of tables and we do have additional stock hiding in the main stand but we want to encourage people to bring picnic tables, chairs and blankets and there will be no restrictions on food brought into the ground.

We also want to encourage the public to bring their common sense but to enjoy the days after so long under lockdown. We really hope we can boost our coffers but also that the Furness public have a safe venue.

Looking ahead to the return of rugby league, we have a big Championship and League One meeting on Thursday with the RFL. The current season and next season will be discussed. The key questions being asked is whether a season of integrity can be conducted and with it retaining promotion and relegation.

There are several clubs wanting that decision to be made on Thursday whilst others do not want to decide with uncertainty. There is every possibility if we do return that we are faced with COVID testing costs on a weekly basis and being forced to play behind closed doors.

On the other hand, I have seen the Health Minister answer questions related to crowds returning to sport and there was a strong hint that it could be as soon as August as long as the downward trend for infections continues after the reopening of the hospitality industry. And if the infection rate were to fall off a cliff then the need for testing the squad would also diminish.

I have information from a very reliable source that the infection rate in Cumbria is virtually at zero but obviously there are other teams within the rugby league and we need all areas to plummet before we can fully relax.

Barrow Raiders will be going into the meeting with the view that we want the season to restart as soon as possible and ideally for us to play a full season with integrity with promotion and relegation at stake.

Finally, to put everything into perspective, we want to send our deepest condolences to our Hall of Fame inductee, Malcolm Flynn, who suffered tragedy at the weekend in such horrendous circumstances. Our thoughts go to Malcolm and all his family at this sad time.