ON paper at least, Warrington Town must have been itching to get the season started again.

Having hit a bit of form to rise to third in the BetVictor Northern Premier League Premier Division table, hopes were high that promotion may finally have been on the cards after two near-misses in as many seasons.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, however, the Northern Premier League has served its intention to terminate the 2019-20 season immediately.

> Warrington Town's season is officially over

It still may come as a surprise that chairman Toby Macormac believes restarting the season would have put his club “to the sword.”

When one considers that Town are left with just seven contracted players, however – all those who were on non-contract terms have been let go – his words carry more weight.

“We’re already in a really tough predicament as it is,” he told the Guardian.

“What would have absolutely put us to the sword is if it restarted. That’s me being open and honest.

“If they turned round to us in early May and say ‘right, you’ve got Buxton away next week’ or something along those lines, where are you going to get players from?

“Cards (manager Paul Carden) is doing a little bit behind the scenes to keep the lads together in case there is some sort of dramatic turnaround.”

The decision of the NPL and other leagues at Step Three of the National League system still needs to be ratified by the FA Council.

In terms of deciding the final league outcomes, there are two options.

One of which is deciding the final positions – and promotion and relegation – on average points per game while the other is declaring the season null and void and starting the next campaign with the same teams in the division.

Warrington Guardian:

The dramatic 3-2 win over Matlock Town at Cantilever Park on March 10 proved to be Yellows' final game of the 2019-20 season. Picture by John Hopkins

“I think that (resuming the season) was the worst-case scenario for everyone, which is why people needed to know sooner rather than later,” Macormac said.

“We have seven contracted players, plus Scott Brown on loan from Harrogate. We’re obligated to honour that deal and that obligation is to pay them until April 25.

“That’s the gamble on having contracted players – you’ve got to fulfil them.

“We have to do what’s right as well. It’s been mooted that some clubs are just trying to dump players and not pay them at all.

“I get that it’s a fight for survival and we’re right in that fight, but you’ve got to do what’s right within the game or it just ruins your reputation as a club.”

Warrington Guardian:

Jack Dunn is one of seven contracted players Warrington Town have on their books. Picture by John Hopkins

Warrington Town is a business that is more than just the football club, but every part of it is in the vice-like grip of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The social club and function rooms that adjoin Cantilever Park have been forced to close while the 4G playing surface that lies behind one of the goals lies unused.

This provides the club with vital income, particularly in the summer months when football is out of season.

When matchday takings are added to the mix, the club’s entire revenue stream has ground to a halt.

Macormac is working tirelessly to keep his ship afloat, but is under no illusions about how precarious a situation he finds himself in.

“We’ve got no income at all. I have to cover all the overheads,” he said.

“I’m working tirelessly on it at the moment but I wouldn’t rule out it costing us somewhere in the region of £70,000.

“It’s going to have a huge, huge impact.

“We had four home games left, one of which was against South Shields for which we expected a large crowd.

“That’s four of everything – gate receipts, bar takings, match sponsorships.

Warrington Guardian:

Cantilever Park will lie unused for the forseeable future. Picture by John Hopkins

“Off the back of that, you’ve got to factor in next season’s sponsorship.

“When companies come through in May or June, I fully expect marketing budgets to be slashed and sponsorship to just not be there.

“We’ve got a hire facility here that produces revenue and keeps us ticking over through the summer and pay the general day-to-day bills, but that has been stopped.

“The Government say they are going to help with some aspects of the industry, but when there’s so many clubs involved, how can you?

“There are people saying the Premier League should help, but its not their job to.

“It’s our job to get through it as best we can.”