BRADFORD area clubs face a nervous wait to find out what divisions they will play in next after the Rugby Football Union ended the season for all leagues below the Premiership.

The governing body had initially suspended all rugby union due to the coronvirus up to April 14.

But they took more drastic action today to finish the 2019-20 campaign now, with a decision on promotion and relegation issues expected by the middle of next month.

Numerous local clubs are involved at the top and bottom of their respective divisions, with Cleckheaton currently second in North One East and Bradford & Bingley third from bottom in a relegation spot.

Otley are third-bottom in National Two North, while Keighley are in the relegation zone in Yorkshire One. Baildon are flying high in third spot in Yorkshire Three - but just outside the promotion top two, five points behind leaders Leeds Corinthians and four points adrift of Knottingley, but crucially with a game in hand.

Baildon’s coaching co-ordinator Dave Duxbury did not expect there to be any more league matches played this season. He said: “I cannot see us playing rugby until September at the earliest.

“We had a chance of going up but there is a far bigger picture than Baildon in Yorkshire Division Three.

“I would be delighted if they took a percentage of points from games played so far and applied it to the rest of the season as we would be champions, but families and friends come first at the moment, and I think the rest of the season will be null and void.”

Like Duxbury, Bradford Salem’s chairman Neil Klenk is not surprised by the curtailing of the season.

But he says that there is plenty of discussion about what will happen regarding the tables for the 2019-20 campaign.

The options are seemingly to scrap the standings and start afresh in 2020-21, with the same teams in the same divisions; take the standings as they are now in order to sort out promotion and relegation or alternatively, take a percentage of points gained so far this season and apply them to the fixtures that remain, in order to decide who goes up and who goes down.

Klenk said: “It would be harsh on someone like Old Brodleians in our division if the tables were scrapped, as they have five games left and only need a couple of points to be promoted.

“And what about Bradford & Bingley, who have just dropped into the bottom three in North One East?

“If the tables are taken as they stand, they are 12th and down but if they had won their postponed match against Malton & Norton last Saturday they could have climbed to seventh.

“And what about Keighley, who are second from bottom in our division, who must have been hoping to beat Leodiensian (Keighley also have bottom club Hullensians to play)?”

The decision by the RFU in response to the Covid-19 pandemic is to “assist with long-term planning and provide clarity to the game at a time of continuous change”.

Rugby clubs also have finances to worry about, with cancelled matches and functions meaning a large drop in income.

Duxbury said: “It is a worry but at least rugby clubs have had income coming in since last September.

“More worrying is the situation for cricket clubs, whose season is about to start, and rugby league clubs, whose season has just got underway.”

Klenk admitted: “We have had to cancel functions, such as our players’ dinner on Maundy Thursday, and I have an emergency meeting of the finance committee due with Jimmy Child and Simon Markey.

“We are a small business when all is said and done and we just hope that we can get something from the £350 billion from the government.”