A MONTH has passed since Barrow AFC’s promotion from National League was confirmed, but that dream could easily have died during the long wait after their season was halted.

It was made official yesterday that the Bluebirds will spend the 2020/21 season in League Two after the FA Council ratified the National League’s resolution to decide final league positions on a points per game basis.

However, reaching this point was far from smooth sailing, particularly after the coronavirus pandemic caused sport to be suspended across the country back in March, when there was plenty of talk of whether the season should be declared null and void if it could not be completed.

Club director Sid Blain, who is also on the National League board, said: “Literally a week after we stopped all our fixtures, there were certain directors saying we should null and void the season and put an end to it.

“I said at the time that we needed to remember what the league’s here for, and that’s to get teams into the Football League. That’s why the league exists.

“At the time, we didn’t know how long this was going to last, so why would you want to do that when the Football League or the Premier League hadn’t finished their season?”

Calls for null and void came again after that was the fate that befell Steps 3-7 in the football pyramid during April and Blain knew he had a lot of work to do in order to persuade some of his fellow board members that the National League shouldn’t follow suit. Such a process was never going to come quickly, however.

“People were saying ‘you should be doing it quicker,’” Blain said.

“But it was totally uncharted territory - no-one had experienced anything like it before - and this board meetings, which are meant to take place every six weeks, were happening two or three times a week.

“It was very, very time consuming and all the time I was very much aware that as a board member of the National League you’re supposed to be neutral and you’re supposed to make decisions based on what’s best for the league.

“That was fine for me because as far as I was concerned what was best for the league to keep two teams going up.”

Ultimately, the play-offs being included in the league’s resolution is what helped it get overwhelmingly voted through, with just five of the 68 clubs opposing.

It meant Blain, who has followed the Bluebirds for 55 years, had the pleasure in informing people at the club that the dream of ending 48 years outside of the EFL had come true.

“I was telephoned by the CEO [Michael Tattersall] before it was announced and I just burst into tears, like I did on the day I found out we’d been voted out of the League,” Blain said.

“I asked for permission to tell the chairman and the manager and they said to do it just before seven o’clock, when it was going to be released, so I called the chairman and he was obviously over the moon.

“I’d waited 48 years for us to get back in the league and to actually be a part of something that enabled it was very satisfying.”