It’s going to be a busy period for the Carlisle United back office gang in the coming weeks as we wait patiently for the 21 June review, where the Prime Minister will confirm the next steps in the lifting or easing of the lockdown measures.
Arguably just as important an announcement comes later that week on Fixture Release Day [24 June] - one of the most exciting and intriguing days on the football calendar.
Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “We thank our fans for their patience. We know everyone is waiting for details on everything from season tickets to the new kit release, and we can assure you that we are working on all aspects of our off-field operations in readiness for the 2021/22 season.
“Our approach is unchanged in that we decided that the best course of action was for us to wait to see what the policy is going to be from 21 June onwards. With virus cases fast growing in some places, and concerns surrounding the latest variant, we know from past experience that absolutely nothing can be taken for granted.
“Yesterday, Cumbria’s director of Public Health, Colin Cox, described the latest data as ‘fantastic’ which is very encouraging, but there’s still more than a week to go before the government decides whether to ease this current lockdown further.
“If we want to see restrictions relaxed on 21 June, case numbers must be kept low. There are still many unknowns about this new variant, in terms of how it spreads and how effective our vaccines are, so it is really important that we don’t let it get a foothold in the Carlisle area.
“That’s why we don’t want to be releasing season ticket details only to then find that we’ve caused a problem for ourselves and our supporters by selling seats we then have to have remove from use, should social distancing measures remain a requirement.
“As soon as the overall picture is clearer we will, of course, update you with prices, dates of sale and full information on categories and areas of the ground available.
“In the meantime, we have a CUSG meeting on Monday [7 June] where we will discuss ideas and options with the fans. We are in the process now of finalising ticket details, but fan input and ideas brought to us through CUSG are still very much welcome.”
Finance director Suzanne Kidd said: “It’s an exciting time for us, with so many things to pick up again after what seems like an unbelievably long period without fans at our games.
“As soon as we know what the new guidelines are we will be releasing information on when the new kit will be launched, and on the ideas we have for our supporters on match days.
“I’m delighted to confirm that the kit arrived this week and the shop staff are now going through the painstaking process of cataloguing it so that it can then be added onto the Blues Store system.
“We think both the home and away kits will be a hit, and we’re looking forward to being able to share it with you in the very near future.”
Ticket office manager Louise Banks said: “The key date really is 21 June. Once we know what the guidelines are we’ll be ready to confirm what we’re doing with tickets, flexi-tickets, mascots, the guard of honour, half-time play on the pitch and all of the other things associated with our core business here at Brunton Park.
“As Nigel has said, we thank everyone for their patience, but we do think the right thing for us to do is to wait until the announcement has been made later this month.
“We don’t want to promise things we then can’t deliver, or take money from people while it’s so uncertain what the arrangements will be.
“We know you will understand our reasoning behind this delay in releasing what is seen as key information by the club and fans alike.”