ANDY Welsh insists every option must be considered to make sure the season has the best chance of being completed.

With ‘non-elite’ football suspended for the second time this season – and with England in a third national lockdown – the Bury AFC manager said declaring the campaign ‘null and void’ would be the easy way out.

And Welsh said his players would be prepared to play for free and twice a week to stop a second successive campaign coming to a premature end.

The North West Counties Football League is on hold until the middle of February at the earliest with the phoenix club currently sitting top of Division One North.

“This is an awful position we are in as a country and I totally understand that, these are unprecedented times,” said the AFC boss. “But from a footballing point of view, I just think we have to do everything we can to get the league restarted.

“Declaring the season null and void right now would be the easy way out but the truth is we don’t really know what is going to happen.

“I think there needs to be more talk between the league and the clubs, there has been too much radio silence and we need to have options. We need a plan A and if not, a plan B and a plan C.”

Welsh said playing twice a week – or possibly three times – is achievable and also suggested early kick-offs to avoid the costs of having to use floodlights.

Playing at central venues, using NWCL grounds that have artificial pitches was something else mooted by the former Sunderland winger.

“There are plenty of different options and I think we should consider them all,” he added.

“We would be prepared to play twice a week, three times if we had to, and I know the lads would play for free if it meant we could finish the season.

“We could kick off early to avoid the costs of putting floodlights on and we could have games at central venues, possibly clubs with artificial pitches where you could have games kicking off at 12 and three o’clock.

“I understand every club’s circumstances are different and I am mindful of that and some may not even want to restart the season but, from our point of view, we just don’t want the season to finish like this.”

He added “I’m gutted to be honest with the current situation, gutted for the players, for everyone connected to the club and all the fans.

“Football means a lot to the people of this town and I am guessing that is similar up and down the country. We just want to play football.”

The NWCL chairman Paul Lawler last week suggested scrapping the season and replacing it with a regionalised cup competition that would include teams from the Northern Premier League and National League.

“I don’t agree with that,” added Welsh. “It’s his opinion and he is entitled to that but I thought it was a bit of knee-jerk reaction and the easy way out.

“We have all worked hard and followed all the guidelines and the first option has to be to try and do everything possible to finish the season.”