IAN Watson is open to the prospect of Super League returning behind closed doors.

Rugby league in England is suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic with no action likely in the near future.

Some sports are considering the prospect of a phased return to action without supporters, once the Government relaxes current regulations that mean the country is on lockdown.

While playing in empty stadiums is not to everyone's taste, Watson believes everything should be done to preserve rugby league in its current form, with fulfilling obligations to broadcasters among the hot topics that the sport's governing bodies are currently weighing up.

"You’d love to have the supporters in the stadium, it creates a real atmosphere," he said.

"It’s what everyone plays the game for, to play in front of big crowds but if it’s about making sure we secure the future of the game and we have to play so many games behind closed doors to get the competition done – and to tick the boxes with Sky and potentially the BBC for the Challenge Cup – then that’s something that as a game we have to look at.

"That’s one probably more for the organisers to discuss that but I wouldn’t be adverse to doing that as long as it secures the future of the game.

"The big thing is with the game, how it is now, people are full-time professionals and that’s the way we want the game to go forward.

"What we can’t afford for it to do is for it to go backwards and to lose the funding from people like Sky and the BBC because the game needs that to grow."

Watson knows any gap in funding would see the sport and its players have to contemplate whether they could stay full-time.

"I want the game to be bigger than what it is," said the Red Devils head coach.

"At the end of the day if you don’t have people like Sky involved then the players will go back to being semi-professional and they will have jobs as well as playing and that’s not what we want."

"That would be a massive backward step from where the game has grown over the last 25 years."