Following recent player movement and our Carabao Cup success at Fleetwood, Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens gave us an update on the impact of that activity on football budgets and club spending plans.
“In early July, at the pre-season press briefing, I spoke about the fact that our football budget for the 2017/18 season was set at broadly the same level as it was at the same stage last year.
“Again, like last year, the Holdings Board had budgeted and committed to making the maximum funds available to the manager permitted under EFL rules, given the cash the club has available to it. Having done that the manager then makes the decisions on how he shapes the squad with the money he has available.
“Since July we have seen four more players come in, with the club paying its largest transfer fee for many years, plus one player leave us as that budget was committed to deals. By the time we kicked off on day one of this season we had reached the absolute maximum of our available EFL wage capping limit.
“The finances the Board could commit to player wages had been given to the manager. That money had then been used on the squad when we started the campaign.
“The transfers of Kyle Dempsey and Brad Potts during this transfer window mean the club will now receive some extra money from the sell-on clauses negotiated within the deals when they both left Carlisle United.
“So far we’ve received about £30,000 so that is all we are permitted to spend on players, at this moment in time, under the current EFL wage cap rules. The remainder will be received in instalments over the next two years and can only be spent on players when it is actually received. Unfortunately that means there is no major cash windfall due from either of those moves during this transfer window.
“An excellent win at Fleetwood and the subsequent home draw in the Carabao Cup against Championship team Sunderland will now also provide us with both a great night of action and additional cup income. With a big crowd it promises to be a night to remember, and hopefully a win for us.
“The sell-on cash received so far increases our wage cap limit by a small amount, but it remains tight. The same will apply to the cup income, but how much we earn from that will very much depend on the attendance level on the night.
“As stated, we now have additional wage cap headroom with the prospect of more to come from the Sunderland game. The Board will continue to make funds available to the manager from this. Discussions have taken place with Keith [Curle] to confirm this so that he can look at the options.
“At the same time as committing to support the manager, as we will always do, we also face competing demands for the income the club receives. This means we have to carefully allocate what we have across the requirements of the whole club. The priority is always first team football, but we do need to spend on other areas such as the stadium and its facilities, as well as keeping some aside for a rainy day.
“The stadium is increasingly expensive to maintain and we want to improve the match day experience for everyone, as we have with the Sunset Suite. From time-to-time essential repairs and safety critical work are also required and we need to retain funds with that in mind.
“As a Board we recognise that and the manager is also understanding of that requirement. We hope the fans understand our need to cater for all eventualities at the same time as giving the manager as much as we possibly can.
“From my point of view, the spending balance needs to be right and in the best possible interests of the club. It does means difficult choices and compromises are always required, and it’s not always possible to keep everyone happy, but we will continue to do our best for the betterment of Carlisle United Football Club.”