ENGLISH football has been presented with the opportunity to move towards summer football, according to Accrington Stanley manager Jimmy Bell.

And the Reds' number two believes it is one that the authorities should look into long term.

Two weeks after the pause button was hit on the Premier League and Football League as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it is so far unclear when the season will resume, and indeed finish.

It looks increasingly likely that the campaign, if it is to continue, will stretch into the summer months and what would normally be the closed season and pre-season, and even beyond.

Former Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney has suggested ending the season later this year in order to help preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

In his column for the Sunday Times, he wrote: "We're happy to play until September if the season extends to then, if that's how it has to be. That's our job.

“As long as we know we're safe to play and it's a safe environment for spectators, we'll play.

"The next World Cup is in November and December 2022, so you could actually use this situation as an opportunity and say we're going to finish the 2019-20 season later this year, then prepare for 2022 by having the next two seasons starting in winter."

Bell is in agreement with the idea, but feels it should not just be a short-term measure.

"I've always been an advocate of summer football," said Stanley's assistant boss.

"I think it's ridiculous we play in the winter so we are no in an ideal position to change that and do what they do in Ireland."

Bell has experience of the League of Ireland having been assistant to Stanley boss John Coleman at Sligo Rovers in 2014. And he feels it is a model that the English game should now follow, beginning the season in February and ending in October.

"You have November, December and January off, and with our climate here I think it's perfect to play summer football," he said.

"Maybe it's something we need."