THE start of the National League season is up in the air, after the government announced that plans for fans to return to stadiums from October 1 has been "paused".

It is understood that the National League have told the clubs in their three divisions, which include Bradford (Park Avenue) and Guiseley in the National League North, that they will not start the season without fans, due to the desperate need for matchday revenue for sides at that level.

Avenue are due to kick off their league season with a home game against Gateshead on October 5, and Guiseley are set to host Blyth Spartans the following evening.

It has been widely reported that the National League are expected to make a formal decision on what to do with the start of their season on Thursday.

The likeliest outcome is that the start date will be pushed back.

The government announcement is not expected to affect teams below the National League, as they do not have "elite" status, so fans should be able to attend games at the likes of Liversedge, Silsden and Thackley for the time being.