CHIEF EXECUTIVE: It's built trust towards having larger numbers

In the second part of our update from the weekend from chief executive Nigel Clibbens we look at the implications of what the success of the match day experience might mean going forward.

Why take the test pilot game on?

“The answer to that is simple - we need fans back safely and as soon as possible, both here at Brunton Park and across the rest of the EFL.

“Our whole reason for being here is to stage football matches, with fans, from which we hopefully provide entertainment and victories. You can never be certain, but I thought our fans played a part in helping us to get those three points on Saturday. That’s the difference I believe it can make.

“We need fans back in bigger numbers to help us to do that. The lack of match income, and little reserves, makes EFL clubs weak and vulnerable. For us this wasn’t about a one-off game, but the first step to getting fans back in much larger numbers.

“We don’t want to be asking for handouts, we want to be able to self-help. We don’t want to be vulnerable or to be faced with choices that could be damaging in the long-term.

“By showing that we (and our fellow EFL clubs) can have fans back safely in these low numbers, we can then build and move forward together. By our fans showing they can follow the new requirements, it builds trust to have more capacity.

“That gets more fans back safely, raises our income and we can keep our destiny in our own hands, and not be forced into an even worse situation than we face now.

“If Carlisle United wants things to get better we have to step up, show some intent and leadership and play our part - not leave it to others, or be reliant on others or hope for handouts, which may be hugely conditional.

“In my view, If you do all you can to help yourself, you will need less support and then, if you still need some support in future, you will have more options.”

What next?

“In our case, having now already held our own successful pilot we know that as soon as we are able, we can be ready to look to increase our capacity.

“Crucially this is with the knowledge and understanding both the club and fans have together gained from Saturday.

“That will allow the club to earn more vital income, lose less money and need less financial help which, in turn, helps the game, and all in a safe and secure manner which does not put the wider community at risk.

“Therefore it can be said that in a small way Carlisle United is doing our bit to help.”

“One concern that has been raised by some fans in the Paddock was the positioning of the temporary dug outs. We acknowledge the problem and, indeed, had identified it as potentially causing as an issue, which led to us proactively highlighting it to our fans in the updates we put out pre-match.

“We can assure supporters that there will be no restricted view at the next game when fans are allowed back into Brunton Park. It goes without saying that we apologise to anyone who felt inconvenienced by the positioning of the dug outs on Saturday.

“Thank you all for the way in which you did your bit along with us, last week and on Saturday. It is greatly appreciated.”

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