BILLY Clarke has called for clearer rules to end the confusion over games postponed because of COVID.

City spent the weekend kicking their heels after Grimsby had pulled the plug on their scheduled clash at Blundell Park.

The EFL announced the game was off a week ago with the Mariners squad in self-isolation following one positive test.

But Stevenage had been given the medical go-ahead to play at Valley Parade the previous Saturday despite three players being ruled out.

Clarke reckons the system needs to be much clearer to stop the chance of clubs taking advantage.

He said: “It’s just confusing. I don’t see how a game had been called off over a week before it was due to take place when others have been played 48 hours after they’ve had cases.

“I don’t get the ruling on it. You look at the West Ham game (in the Carabao Cup) and there were three lads in the dressing room an hour before kick-off (sent home after testing positive).

“Was Saturday not on because Grimsby didn’t get tested? I honestly have no idea.

“So, if you’re missing three players from injury and then you get one case, can you just say, ‘let’s call this game off?’

“If it was black and white and this was the rule then fair enough. Everyone would know where they stand.

“But it seems to be different for different clubs and situations.”

City host Wolves under-21s in the EFL Trophy tomorrow but it will be 16 days between League Two games by the time they play Harrogate next Monday in front of the TV cameras at Valley Parade.

Clarke, who played for Grimsby last season, added: “Nobody wants a backlog of games.

“I don’t see how Stevenage managed to say they were good to play but then Grimsby is off.

“What exactly is the rule? I think the EFL need to clarify on the medical side of it.

“Is it down with the team with the case to decide?

“If we were playing a team on hot form and there’s a player on their fringes who got it, are they going to say that we’ll still play?

“We’ve only just started the season. I know it’s been a little bit hectic but we’ve rotated well and had just come off the back of a win, so we wanted to play.

“It was disappointing we couldn’t and it just so happens that the following one wasn’t for another nine days.”

The experienced Irishman is relishing being back for his third spell at City and was named man of the match in the Stevenage win. But he admits it does not feel the same playing in an empty Valley Parade.

“I still get excited for the games and what’s at stake. It’s real life stuff now.

“But it’s not very good without the fans. You get to the last 10-15 minutes and everyone’s a bit tired, then the crowd give you that boost.

“Everyone knows the atmosphere can get really good at the stadium.

“I’m pretty confident that if we’d had fans against Colchester we’d have gone on to win. It’s just that little drive the fans give.

“It’s obviously better than sitting on my couch in the back garden not allowed out. But it’s not the same.

“These are difficult times for every club and they’ve all got their own struggles. But from a player’s perspective, everyone wants fans back.”