Enfield Town manager Andy Leese has admitted he was surprised to see the Isthmian League Premier Division declared null and void last week, but suggests the decision was probably the right one, with the coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to sport across the country.

The Town boss explained that the timing for restarting the season in the middle of the summer, before having to prepare for the next campaign was simply not a feasible way of concluding things.

While he understands the frustrations of clubs who looked as if they might be promoted, he thinks overall cancelling the season was the fairest way to resolve the issue.

“I was a little bit surprised that the decision was made quite so quickly to be honest,” he told the Enfield Town website.

“But my overriding feeling on reflection was that it was the right decision on many grounds. The health of all of us in the country has to come first and there was no way we could continue to play with no realistic end in sight to the COVID 19 crisis. To have tried to finish this season fairly, and to start next season late maybe, would have potentially spoiled two seasons. We could be playing again in July for example when we would need a pre-season again to finish this season, which is when we would usually be starting pre-season for the 2020-21 campaign.

“I can understand the reaction of clubs that think they were definitely in line for promotions and the perceived lost investment for the whole season. We could all argue that we have lost investment. Many were looking for a formula, like points per game, to resolve matters but I am not sure that would have satisfied everyone. Especially not us, as I think we would have finished 6th.”

Financial problems and the integrity of the division were also in Leese’s mind when thinking about the effects restarting the season mid-summer could have had.

However, his main concern was the health of all involved and he urged his supporters to stay safe ahead of next season.

“The finances of running clubs also played a part,” he said.

“Clubs with lots of contracts to honour and no income, would probably have had to extend those contracts indefinitely to retain players ahead of the season starting up again. Clubs with nothing to play for in a League could choose to release players on contract and then play anyone just to complete fixtures. All this would all have challenged the integrity of the competition. There are also plenty of other overhead costs for clubs to consider as I know we have at the Town. It’s probably the right decision now and it will be shown to be so in the long run. We all have nothing without our health.

“I hope we see this COVID crisis clear up and not return so we can all get back to some normality. Football will return, we will get back to winning, we will be successful again, but for now make sure you all look after yourselves and your families.”