Barrow Raiders chairman Steve Neale has backed the RFL’s plans to delay the start of the League 1 season.

The RFL confirmed on Thursday that after a virtual meeting between Championship and League 1 clubs, a consensus was reached to delay the 2021 season as a result of the soaring Covid-19 cases throughout the country.

Raiders will now begin their season in the spring, with no specific start date set in stone as of yet.

Neale hopes that with the recent pushback to the season’s beginning, the return of supporters will be more likely.

The Mail: CRAVEN PARK: Barrow Raiders supporters.CRAVEN PARK: Barrow Raiders supporters.

“It is a good decision,” Neale said.

“I think we have had to react to the growing number of infections throughout the community and the likelihood of crowds returning by starting later is a lot higher now.

“If we were to start in March, we would be putting ourselves in financial stress with the costs of playing behind closed doors and paying our staff.

“I would get more worried if we get further and further into the year without the season starting because then the whole season and game would be in jeopardy and that is the last thing we want.”

Neale admitted that starting the league season with the original start date in mid-March would be “financial suicide” for clubs who are already struggling financially.

Although there is concern surrounding other RFL clubs’ future, Neale has ensured Raiders fans that the club is in a financially-sound position despite the lack of action at Craven Park.

The Mail: ACTION: Barrow Raiders last played against Coventry BearsACTION: Barrow Raiders last played against Coventry Bears

Despite a delay to the league season, League 1 clubs still have the option to enter the Challenge Cup, which will begin on the first weekend of March.

The Raiders are planning to enter the competition, Neale confirmed, in what could be the club's first game in a year.