Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey believes the Rugby Football League were too hasty in making their decision to not resume the seasons for the Betfred Championship and League One.

The RFL’s decision to do this on Monday night, along with scrapping relegation from Super League this year, ended the Raiders’ hopes of earning promotion back to the Championship at the first time of asking.

The fact that they had won away at Doncaster in their opening league fixture back in March meant they were confident of mounting a sustained challenge at the top of their division, only for the coronavirus pandemic to ultimately cut the campaign short before it had really begun.

Instead, Barrow will be entering the new cup competition set up for clubs in the second and third tiers during the autumn, which has a prize fund of £250,000 on offer.

Crarey said: “I think it is a poor decision. I don’t think we’ve really tried to get going.

“I just think we could have got a season in where we would have played each other once and kept promotion and relegation.

“Toronto have pulled out of the Super League season, so I don’t know whether that leaves a space for the likes of Featherstone and Leigh, and teams like that, who are fighting at the top of the Championship.

“I just think that we could have had a valid season and this will give a lot of clubs a headache and it’’s given Steve Neale, our chairman, and the board a headache in terms of season ticket holders and shirt sponsors, and stuff like that.”

Details about the new competition, which will also form part of the celebrations for rugby league’s 125th anniversary, have yet to emerge, including its format and when it will begin.

Until then, Crarey won’t know when he’ll be able to call his players back in for training, although he feels they should still be getting the chance to be playing for something more meaningful.

Crarey said: “I think it’s disappointing that we’ve made a decision early when amateur clubs are starting to train, the infection rate has dropped and everything is going in the right direction.

“We could have waited and put an eight or nine-game season together and reward the hard work and investment that has been put in by certain clubs.

“We’re now going to have to go into League One again next year, when you’ve got the likes of Ottawa coming in and if Toronto is the model for a transatlantic team dropping out of the competition and letting their players find other clubs a couple of weeks before the season starts playing, I think it’s a sad state.”