FOOTBALL has returned after its unofficial and unscheduled winter break – and perhaps there should be thought given in the close season as to how to address this problem.

Bad weather cannot be controlled but the circumstances around it can – and maybe those circumstances need addressing because non-league clubs can ill afford months of no income.

This weekend saw Barnoldswick Town return to action in the Vodkat League for the first time since November 24.

That nine weeks is a long time for clubs to carry on paying the bills with no income.

It is also a long time for the players to kick their heels. Don’t forget, this isn’t the professional game and players are only at their club a couple of times a week.

And the Barlick situation has been replicated at all local clubs.

And it was that way for all the local non-league clubs last season.

A few weeks ago it was muted that maybe next season should start earlier.

Nothing has come of that as yet – and you know what, nothing will. But the powers that be have to do something.

Maybe playing more midweek games at the early part of the season. Maybe extending the season into June.

Whatever they come up with they must find a solution.

Because this now annual mid-season break is good for no-one.