In the final part of our press conference coverage from Tuesday David Holdsworth spoke about the importance of strengthening community and business links as the club looks to push forward.
On building bridges and strengthening bonds ...
“We all want this club to be successful and I know our fans, sponsors, businesses and local community are the same. That’s why I’m going to say to people, if there are businesses out there who want to invest in Carlisle United, please come along.
“I’m very happy, and I know Nigel [Clibbens] is, to ask people to come and support our football club. We’ve had a great start, and there are things going forward that I need to address which I’m looking at right now. I want to reach out to people who have stayed away for however long for whatever reasons - I’ll gladly have any discussions.
“If they’ve got the right agenda I’ll discuss that with the board and encourage further development in terms of embracing our neighbourhood and the people around us. The feel-good factor is really nice at the moment because we’re fourth in the league, but we’re wise enough to know that football can change rapidly.
“We won’t be putting any ridiculous demands on John, the club must have a structure and we want to embrace the community. There are a few initiatives we’re putting out soon, and hopefully with the right personnel and the right guidance people can come through the door and be part of our football club.
“We’ve got a business club [United for Business] and I’m encouraging them this weekend to work with us on an initiative to help a Cumbrian child who is in the Hospice. We want businesses to come this Saturday and get on board with us to help support a child who is in a tough place. I went down to Jigsaw last week and they are wonderful people - we would like to send one of their children to Lapland at Christmas and I think the businesses can be part of that. We want to help as many people as we can, and likewise we want to establish stronger, and more, links within the community.
“I’ve been listening to people for the last 6-8 weeks and I’m very aware of certain relationships which have probably become a little bit fragmented, for whatever reason. To be honest, I haven’t got time for all that ‘he said, she said’ stuff, it isn’t something I’m really bothered about.
“People throw stones and accusations about various things, but I actually don’t care about all that. I’ve got too much more to do with my time than to worry about what went on in 1938, or whenever. This is about the club going forward.
“If there’s been a breakdown in any relationship, what I’m saying is let’s try to mend it and talk about how we can get stronger. I’m not interested in what’s gone on before, I’m interested in building the club to go forward.
“The fans will have views on what the club hasn’t done right, and I wouldn’t be here right now if the club was really successful. How we’re going to get that success is by being clever, structured and together. All I want to do now is make sure the people inside the club are focussed and the fans know they’re getting value for money.
“I’ve had two or three very good conversations with good people who do want to support the club. If I feel that’s right, I’ll obviously take it a bit further. I’ve actually got a short list of about 25 people, which isn’t a short list when you think about it, who do feel the club can go forward. I don’t think there needs to be a barrier. The barriers need to be smashed down, and if it’s for the right reasons it means we can bring them in.
“As I’ve said before, we need accountability within our structure. We want to take the club forward, not backwards. The way we’re doing that is by looking at each compartment and demanding more, because we want value for money.
“There’s a desire from the people inside the club to push on because we have some very good staff here. It’s nice to see people with a smile on their face and it’s nice to work with them.
“And with the fans, I saw our supporters when we lost to Blackburn stay behind and clap the team. I thought that was incredible, but they did it because they’d seen their team have a go. We want to show our supporters that this club can be a happy place and that’s what we’re building towards.
“A clean slate helps people and all we want is to be accountable. Sometimes the past is the past and you have to change. Change means you’re thinking about where something went wrong, and you’re doing something about it, and that’s the key for me. That’s exactly what we’re doing right now.”