IT is almost 150 days since the Super League was abruptly halted in its tracks.

Warrington Wolves had just thumped Hull in a match which would see Lee Radford fired as Black and Whites coach.

Less than a week later the season was suspended as lockdown loomed and Warrington’s trip to Hull KR was called off.

The season resumes for the Wire on Saturday as they again face Hull KR in the rearranged game, but behind closed doors at Headingley.

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Since March just six people out of 140 staff at the club have been working,

The rest have been on the government furlough scheme, including the players who returned to training a couple of weeks ago.

Karl Fitzpatrick, chief executive, has been one of those six – also working on a reduced salary as the financial realities of no rugby hit the club.

He said: “We have 140 staff, including players, and everyone apart from six of us has been on furlough.

“We have had incredible support from the players, coaches and staff who have had to take pay cuts.

“They understand the challenges the club faces and the commitment shown from the sponsors, supporters and the directors.

“The players wanted to play their part and they understand these are difficult times.

“Players have a short period of time in the game so it is humbling.”

The players agreed a pay cut last month, with those earning more money taking more of the pain.

Supporters have also flocked to support the club which is facing a £1.4million black hole.

Most have agreed to donate their season ticket fee for the season to become ‘legacy members’ in 2021.

Although there are still hopes they will get to watch matches live as the season progresses into autumn.

For Fitzpatrick, himself a former Super League player, the past few months are ones he hopes won’t be repeated.

“It has been extremely challenging and an experience I hope I will not experience again,” he said.

“But the reaction from supporters and sponsors has been humbling.

“If there is a positive, it has been that it shows what the club means to people.

“If the majority are willing to forego membership fees to help, that is remarkable.”

In the past two years, August has been a time of frantic preparations for a Wembley Challenge Cup Final.

This August as been about testing players and The Halliwell Jones Stadium for behind closed doors matches.

As chief executive, Fitzpatrick can’t wait to see the action return on the field.

He added: “When you work in sport, all week you are looking forward to game day.

“A lot of work goes into putting on a matchday experience and I have missed that.

“I am a big supporter of rugby league as well and I have missed the game.

“Friday nights under the lights at The Halliwell Jones Stadium is a magical experience. I look forward to seeing it again.

“It will be different behind closed doors but it will make it even better when supporters are back again. We would like to think that would happen again soon.”

This time of year would also normally be about 2021, agreeing news deals with sponsors, arranging a new kit.

But Fitzpatrick says it is about helping the club’s various partners now.

He added: “This year it is about the here and now.

“We are working with our partners and getting value money for them this season, it would be wrong to look to next year.

“It means the back end of the year will be extremely busy as we look ahead to 2021 and 2022, but we have to look after people now. Some of those businesses are facing troubles themselves and we want to help them.

“It is something we pride ourselves in.”