Carlisle United Supporters’ Groups (CUSG) was established in 2015 to enhance engagement between fans and Carlisle United Football Club.
Formed with representatives from long-standing supporters’ groups CUOSC, CUSAT, Route 66 and the London Branch, the group was supplemented by reps from the Scottish supporters’ group and a newly-formed Disabled Supporters’ Group.
Last season CUSG expanded further by welcoming on board reps from The Cumbrians.Net Forum. The group meet regularly with club staff to ensure that consultation and collaboration takes place on key matters affecting fans.
Notable contributions from CUSG include the display of memorabilia in the Sunset Suite, following fundraising events such as the Jimmy Glass evening, and improvements to disabled facilities at Brunton Park.
Not content to rest on their laurels, CUSG have plans this season to generate funds through hosting events, merchandise sales and to work with the club to refurbish bars at Brunton Park.
Chairman Simon Clarkson explained: “We’ve gained some momentum and want to really push on so that we can provide tangible results in the form of things that really make a difference for fans, and the wider Cumbria community.
“In order to do this we need a larger group of fans in the CUSG set-up so that we can deliver on our targets. We are conscious that not all fans want to be affiliated to an established group and we therefore want to open up participation to new members.
“This will not only embrace new ideas and allow us to address more issues affecting fans, but hopefully make us a greater force at delivering projects in a more timely manner.”
CUSG activities planned for this season include:
- An event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1994-95 season
- Merchandise sales
- Enhancements to bars including memorabilia display
- A race night
- A fans’ forum (probably Feb 2020)
- Activities to support the Jigsaw appeal (the club’s charity partner)
- Planning the annual fun day alongside club staff
Explaining how more fans can get involved in CUSG activities, Simon said: “We would like to hear from any fan who can support these initiatives, as well as being willing to get involved in day-to-day matters to improve the fans’ match day experience.
“We currently meet at 6pm on a Monday every 6 weeks. This may restrict participation, so going forward we will look to vary when we meet, to try to be as inclusive as possible. By enlarging the group we feel we can deliver more things.”
Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens said: “The CUSG is a simple and easy way for fans to have their voice heard and for the club and fans to work together to make the club better.
“The more fans that can be involved, the better it is. This is a long-term project, but CUSG has some notable achievements already in its short existence, and a wider involvement by fans is great news.
On the immediate horizon is support to the Carlisle half marathon on September 1 where CUSG will provide marshals for the event, which starts and finishes at Brunton Park.
Simon said: “We want to lend our support and make the event a success, so please do come forward if you can help us to do that.”
Can you make a difference and be a CUSG rep?
If you would like to help in any way, including being a race marshal, please contact CUSG at cusgcusclb.com or via twitter @CarlisleUtdSG