BARROW AFC fans remain frustrated with the long-running saga of how the football season will end.

And Steven Herbert, Bluebirds Trust chairman, says that even if the boardroom battles of the English Football League and the National League do end in promotion - he worries the season may start behind closed doors due to coronavirus.

Mr Herbert was speaking after the EFL said that relegation is 'integral' to the integrity of the league in a statement on Thursday - which followed a lengthy meeting of the board on Wednesday.

“With the EFL decision to relegate, the ball is back in the National League’s court," said Mr Herbert.

The EFL blueprint, released on Thursday, went against the declared preference of League Two clubs that bottom club Stevenage be spared the drop to the National League.

Clubs now have to consider the matter further before the board formally proposes any regulation changes for a vote.

If the EFL's framework is adopted, it could mean two clubs go up from the National League - as there is still a spot left vacant after Bury was expelled earlier this year - but only if the National League season resumes.

“We just keep hoping for the right outcome, where our wonderful team’s success on the pitch this season is rewarded," said Mr Herbert.

“It may well be that we will start the season behind closed doors.

“If we have been promoted, that could mean starting back after 48 long years with none of the support there to see it.

“Sad though that is, nothing is more important than safety at the moment, during this crisis.

“There is a great connection between the club and fans, we are part owners and everyone has worked together.

"But safety comes first- though we all look forward to being back at Holker Street as soon as possible.”

As well as setting out the principle on relegation, the EFL board says the play-offs should be played in the event of curtailment of the season.

But they should not be extended beyond the regular four teams.

It also says that the decision to end each division needs a 51 per cent majority vote among the clubs concerned. But League One sides remain in open disagreement about whether to stop or play on. It is thought that the National League will follow on from what the EFL would do. But a decision on whether Barrow gain promotion or not is yet to be decided.

For more on the situation with the EFL see page 38.