Batley Bulldogs coach Craig Lingard fears season won’t resume

Batley Bulldogs head coach Craig Lingard feels there are too many obstacles for the Championship to complete a full season and fears the 2020 campaign could be declared null and void.

Pic Bulldogs Batley Bulldogs Craig Lingard tests out the commentary box in preperation for the Sky Televised match against the Dewsbury Rams. (270645)

Club bosses from the Championship and League One met with the RFL last week in a bid to try and explore the feasibility of playing matches behind closed doors.

The majority of second tier clubs are part-time and could struggle to bring players off furlough without gate receipts.

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Lingard also raised the issue of contracts, with a number of players’ deals set to expire at the conclusion of the campaign.

“The longer it drags on and goes on, you can’t see any other possible outcome than the season being declared null and void,” admitted Lingard.

“I don’t think lengthening the season is going to be a viable option because you have already got people who are signing contracts for next year at other clubs.

“That means their contracts will end before the season could finish, so I think there are too many potential loopholes and pitfalls to lengthening the season.

“There are a lot of questions that need to be asked and answered but we can’t do that at the minute because we don’t know where we stand.

“There are still a lot of ifs and buts. Until we get some concrete decisions we can’t get answers to the hypothetical questions we are asking.”

The German Bundesliga made its return on Saturday with matches behind closed doors and a number of protocols put into place, with players sitting apart on the bench and pre-match handshakes scrapped.

“You see teams and sports from outside the UK who are self isolating but with part-time rugby you can’t do that,” added Lingard.

“People have got full-time jobs, you can’t self-isolate with your team because you have got other commitments as well. If you are full-time you can do that.”

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