Statement from club director Lord Clark of Windermere
Club director Lord Clark of Windermere says CUFC Holdings Ltd had a "duty" to pursue the initial interest being expressed in the Club by a potential new investor.
Lord Clark is a director of Carlisle United 1921 Ltd, which is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Club. The board of Carlisle United 1921 Ltd received a report on the current situation regarding a new approach to invest in the Club during its regular scheduled board meeting at Brunton Park before the bank holiday weekend.
The report was given by Club Chairman Andrew Jenkins and Managing Director John Nixon. Both are directors of CUFC Holdings Ltd, which owns 93% of the Club and is responsible for negotiating any investment in it, unlike Carlisle United 1921 Ltd.
Lord Clark, who is not a director of CUFC Holdings Ltd, has since issued the following statement: "I think it is extremely important that the Club makes every effort to keep supporters informed as much as is possible about what is going on regarding ownership and investment. We need openness and this includes communicating via the media and with Carlisle United 1921 Ltd.
"I recognise the confidentiality agreement that the club is working under at the request of the potential new investor and I understand that we all have to abide by that at the moment. That includes myself and the other Carlisle United 1921 Ltd directors who, at present, have not yet been informed about the identity of the potential investor nor any details of the proposed investment.
"However, having heard what the directors of the Holding Company have said in the boardroom at Brunton Park, I believe that at this stage they had a duty to listen to the inquiry from a new would-be buyer in a positive manner, like they have done.
"I think it is potentially an exciting possibility and that the Holding Company had a duty not to ignore this fresh interest being expressed in the Club and the approach that has been made to the Holding Company. Many supporters, quite rightly, would have been highly critical if the Holding Company had turned away this new interest and continued solely with Andrew Lapping's consortium without having fully explored this additional new approach.
"Carlisle United FC is an attractive proposition on many levels to potential investors including its remote location, which can actually work in its favour in that we have a geographically captive market. This is part of the success story behind Bournemouth - and look where they have ended up with a smaller capacity than Brunton Park.
"As it is, we should not have long to wait to see if the latest investment interest can come to fruition. Meanwhile, I personally would like to thank Andrew Lapping for his interest in the Club and for all the work he has done in putting together an investment package with local business people because I understand this actually helped attract the potential new investor.
"Ultimately though, the decision about any change of ownership of the Club is entirely the responsibility of the Holding Company - and Carlisle United 1921 Ltd's directors have no say in this."
Besides Lord Clark, the Carlisle United 1921 Ltd board meeting held on Friday afternoon was also attended by fellow directors Dick Young and Norman Steel, along with advisor David Dent. Like them, Lord Clark is a life-long supporter of Carlisle United. He has been a director of the Club for 13 years, having initially become involved in the boardroom at the time of the sale of the Club to John Courtenay in 2002.