A NON-LEAGUE legend fears the landscape of amateur and semi-professional football could look quite different as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

A ball has not been kicked in the North West Counties League since the weekend of March 14 - a week after the Premier League and English Football League was suspended due to COVID-19.

And while football authorities have expressed their desire to finish the season at the top of football's pyramid, further down the pecking order it seems increasingly likely that, with less than six weeks remaining the 2019/20 will not resume at any stage.

Indeed, on Tuesday the National League voted to end their season now due to the crisis, and it is expected that others will follow suit.

Bacup Borough manager Brent Peters feels that clubs would be able to weather the storm of having no matchday money coming in for the short-term. But he says problems will arise for many because all other revenue streams have been cut-off.

"It's not the be all and end all when people are losing their lives, but there will be clubs somewhere that lose their standing due to this situation," said Peters, a former Bury youth team coach.

"I think they will draw a line under the season because there is a deadline that the season has to end by so that they can complete the restructure, and it will be settled on a points percentage basis.

"There is only a short window to reorganise teams. At the end of every football season the National League has a lot to do. That's why the deadline is in place.

"But it's very difficult at the minute, like everyone else - not just football - but non-league clubs will suffer.

"It's not just that there isn't any football - if that was the case then we could probably weather a prolonged closed season. But with leisure and hospitality elements shutting down as well there's no income.

"If you think about a cake you've got different sections; one section is the playing side - out on the pitch - but also people coming through the gate. When you're at home you've got admission fees and the catering side of the business; we've normally got money coming in from the commercial arm, then there's the lottery side of it.

"Away from that we've got the sports bar, which is available for private functions, but they can't happen at the moment.

"We could ride with a season that finishes six weeks before it should do if we've got the usual other things going on that can bring money into the club to keep your head above water.

"The social side has gone, which is major, and equally you can't keep the commercial side of things going because everything has shut down. That's kind of critical, and the longer it goes on it will be an unhealthy situation.

"It costs around £65,000 a year to run the whole club and that's not making a profit, that's just breaking even.

"Like a lot of non league clubs we operate month to month, hand to mouth, and now we haven't got an income stream coming from anywhere.

"And you can't expect local business and organisations to help us out because they are all in the same boat."

But this is not the first time Peters has faced financial difficulties during almost 23 years as Bacup boss.

He transformed the fortunes of the club both on and off the field in his first two and a half seasons in charge. But after ploughing thousands of pounds into the club he was left counting a personal cost and was declared bankrupt in April 2000.

Now running his own delivery business, he insisted previous experience would not deter him from using his own cash, where possible, to help sustain Bacup Borough again.

"When I took bankruptcy in the late 90s to save the club. I made a comment then that Brent Peters would rise from the ashes but if Bacup Borough was to go it wouldn't rise from the ashes," he said.

"By hook or by crook I will ensure, no matter how hard it will be, that Bacup Borough will come out of this.

"If this suspension carries on even in the short term the club will be able to sustain that as long as my little distribution business keeps going.

"We sub-contract to FedEx and thankfully they are still operating, because essential goods need to get around the country.

"Bacup Borough will only survive if I can loan the club money until we get back on our feet again, and that can only happen as long as my little business is operational.

"If they've got to shut down we've got a serious problem.

"I do feel there's got to be some responsibility somewhere from football authorities. There's a vast amount of money that will go into the Premier League and hopefully some of it will filter down to clubs like ourselves.

"It will be a lifeline."

Despite all the uncertainty, Peters remains optimistic.

"Hopefully we will start again on the first Saturday in August and pick the baton up and run with it then," he said.

"I'm living for today, not for tomorrow. And with what's going on in the world today everyone should think that way.

"I've been manager for going on 23 years.

"It's another challenge. I've had nothing but challenges at this club, but nothing like this. This is another chapter.

"Any challenge we are going to face, and we will come out the other end stronger. But we, and other clubs, can only do that if communities can come out and support us in the best way they can, as they have done in the past and hopefully they will do in the future.

He added: "Like any other business we've got creditors and debtors. It's no different from any other business. We aren't in a unique situation, it's everyone. We've got to ride the storm. If sporting organisations and the government help us I'm sure we will be okay by the end of it.

"You've got to be positive, that's how we've always been at Bacup Borough."