With Ian Evatt’s departure from Barrow AFC to Bolton Wanderers expected to be confirmed today, Bluebirds supporters can at least rest easy in the knowledge he won’t be able to come back in for most of their key players.

Evatt faces a rebuilding job at Bolton, who will be sharing a division with AFC for the first time ever next season following their relegation from League One under his soon-to-be predecessor Keith Hill.

He’ll be inheriting just 11 senior players at the Trotters - a slight improvement on the seven he took on at Barrow in 2018 - but he won’t be able to sign any player for a fee this summer.

That is because Bolton remain under a two-year transfer embargo that prevents them from doing such a thing which was imposed when they plunged into administration in May 2019.

This means that any players already under contract for the 2020/21 campaign are out-of-bounds for the man who guided the Bluebirds to a return to the English Football League for the first time since 1972.

That includes joint-top scorers Scott Quigley and John Rooney, who both found the net 20 times during the season in firing AFC to the top of the National League.

Two other attackers were already tied down for the campaign in Dior Angus and Josh Kay, who has arguably been Barrow’s most-improved player over the last 12 months.

Also signed up are the likes of midfielder Lewis Hardcastle, defender Patrick Brough and goalkeeper Joel Dixon.

However, assistant manager Peter Atherton will be following Evatt to the University of Bolton Stadium and it is expected analyst Lewis Duckmanton and physio Callum Walters, who both came with him from Chesterfield in 2018, will do likewise.

Evatt could end up being in competition with Barrow for former loanees Matt Platt and Tom White, although that will only happen if they are released from their contracts from parent club Blackburn Rovers.

Meanwhile, AFC will finally find out their 23rd and final League Two opponents at the end of the month after the National League announced their play-off dates.

The ‘eliminators’ - Yeovil Town v Barnet and Boreham Wood v FC Halifax Town - will take place on July 21/22 and the semi-finals, to be hosted by Harrogate Town and Notts County, will follow on July 25/26. The final is set to be played on Friday, July 31, when two teams will fight for the right to join the Bluebirds in the EFL, although it’s unconfirmed whether this will be held at Wembley.

All matches will be, of course, played behind closed doors.