CUSG: March meeting minutes

CUSG Meeting Summary - Remote meeting via Zoom, 11.03.2024

Attendance –  John Kukuc (Chair), Simon Clarkson (SLO), Terry McCarthy (London Branch), Alastair Woodcock, Martin Robson (CUOSC), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Sonny Kirkwood (Warwick Road Enders), Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)

Apologies –  Nigel Davidson (EDI Rep), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), Philip Walker (South Cumbria Supporters Club), Nataly Mason (Women and Girls’ Rep),

John Kukuc introduced the meeting.

  1. CUFC Update

Nigel Clibbens had already circulated the club update which can be viewed HERE.

Terry asked about changes being planned for the East Stand in the summer.

Nigel said there had been enquiries for executive boxes already. Terry asked if boxes would be sold/rented to commercial organisations and would they also be available to hire by individuals on a match by match basis? Nigel explained there would be no hard rules applied. Eight boxes were planned with a long waiting list of interested parties. Terms are to be confirmed but pricing needs to reflect the investment. All could be sold for a season or longer, he said. The cost of investment across the club is significant, and there was a need to give a return that reflected that. The price would have to reflect the standard and demand. The new boxes in the East Stand could free up boxes on the west side of the stadium. Hospitality capacity overall would be increased.

Terry asked if the club take income from bars/concessions around the ground and pay a fee to John Watt. Nigel said concessions pay a ‘match pitch’ fee. These are affordable, he explained. The club do this to create a good atmosphere on match day. Profits are split from all the catering with John Watt.

Simon asked about the new streaming platform. iFollow is ceasing for domestic users but overseas subscribers will continue to have access to streams. Nigel said all rights to games had been sold to Sky for UK coverage. CUFC will get a bigger guaranteed fee compared to iFollow revenue. More games are expected to be streamed by Sky each season via a subscription service. For overseas supporters, the streaming service from the club will come via a new provider. More club content will be made available via the new platform. More shows will be made midweek and on match days - some of this will be free and some via subscription. Nigel said he hoped illegal streaming will be reduced as a result of the new arrangements.

Nigel added that a Florida fan club is getting off the ground and potentially one in Pennsylvania, too. There was an opportunity to stream to a new fanbase in the USA.

Nigel said that significantly more in-house media content will be a huge step forward for the club.

Nigel said that the current camera point for the streaming of games is where the new executive boxes will go at the top of the East Stand. The camera point will move to the West Stand. Location is being worked on but the gantry is not an option. New LED advertising boards have been purchased and will sit in front of the East Stand and behind each goal in 24/25.

Simon asked about the planned refurbishment of the Neil Centre. Were there any plans to move the pitch in line with the East Stand?

Nigel explained that the ‘refresh’ of the Neil Centre was to improve the décor, changing rooms, roof, entrance and office space (currently used by the Community Sports Trust).

Simon made reference to the £2.45m inter-company debt mentioned in the update. Was this the final amount of PurePay debt? Nigel confirmed the capital borrowed was £2.1m, with interest of about £530k being charged up to the settlement date, making £2.63m due. £2.45m had been paid in cash in full by Castle Sports Group (CSG) before the takeover, meaning a discount of around £189,000 had been agreed. 1921 owed CSG but the balance would be forgiven by CSG.

Simon asked if there was a spare turnstile that could be removed and used as part of the exhibition at Tullie House? Nigel said all existing turnstiles at the Warwick Road End would be removed as part of the upgrade of that part of the ground and the club will ensure that at least one is saved for posterity. If fans wish to buy them contact the club. 

  1. Calendar of events

Nigel C said the next fans forum will be held at Brunton Park. This was part of the EFL requirement for club forums. The next held after that will be in the south of Scotland and then in West Cumbria.

Nigel C suggested it would be a good idea to include an upcoming timetable in the minutes. Simon asked if the EFL Fixture release date for next season had been set yet. Nigel said it would be either Monday or Thursday in the third week of June, to avoid a clash with the Premier League release date.

Currently events planned by club/CUSG include:

23/03 One Community Day

01/04 Retro Shirt Day inc. Walk to the Match

April - fans’ forum TBC

22/04 Next CUSG meeting

June – EFL fixtures released TBC

  1. Memorabilia/Heritage project

The club has received a £95,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a project that will see them work with Tullie, Carlisle United Community Sports Trust, University of Cumbria and Cumberland Council to celebrate and preserve the club’s legacy.

The project will bring a huge programme of activity including school workshops, community well-being activities, youth programming and a museum exhibition. A co-curated exhibition celebrating the history of the club will open at Tullie in July with content development support coming from University of Cumbria Film & Television students. This will be the first exhibition at the museum once it reopens after redevelopment work. From October, a pop-up version of the exhibition will tour to local venues and a permanent display of objects will be exhibited at Brunton Park.

If you would like to donate any items or form part of the volunteer force, the ‘Carlisle United Collective’ to support various aspects of this project, please contact

  1. Finance

The current bank balance is £5,225 (unchanged since the date of our last meeting) of which £82 is ring-fenced for the Prediction Competition prizes.

Simon said money would need to be put towards the memorabilia project as per the details of the Christmas raffle, approximately £3500 from CUSG, which came out of funds raised by the raffle. Terry agreed to ring-fence £3500 of the current bank balance for this purpose.

The half-yearly finance report is HERE.

  1. Memory Garden

The memory garden at Brunton Park is now established that includes a bench in memory of Dave Wilkes donated by the Former Players Association. Dave’s family and friends have visited the garden in the recent weeks and this will be officially opened on 23 March.

We hope the area will serve as a quiet, reflective place where staff and fans can go to be comforted and inspired. Lots of fans have enquired if as well as having plants in the memory of loved ones, there can be some form of commemorative display such as plaques. Options are being discussed between fans reps and the club with an update due soon.

Simon added that David Wilkes’ family are being hosted tomorrow night at the Barnsley match. A minute’s applause would be held during the match in the 60th minute.

CUOSC have a plan to create a ‘memory wall’ at the ground. Simon had discussed this with Matt Spooner. There was a synergy with the memory garden. There was space available in the garden area to erect a wall or install plaques. Martin said the CUOSC board would discuss this in their board meeting this week. Nigel C said, as an alternative to the above ideas, bricks could be laid in the ground as a ‘walkway’.

  1. EDI

Nigel’s report had already been circulated and can be viewed HERE.

Simon commented that there was a strong synergy with the CUOSC retro shirt day for the walk to the match, starting in the city centre, on April 1.

He suggested both events could be promoted together so fans in retro shirts all walk to the match together. He added that so many old shirts had been donated to the memorabilia project that some could be loaned to fans who do not own old shirts themselves. CUOSC would discuss this idea.

  1. SLO update

The promotion of fan engagement is critical to the SLO role. Be that in the form of being high profile on a home match day, throughout the week on social media to share relevant information with fans or coordinating forums. There is a huge demand to have more of these and take them on the road, around the county and beyond. They need to be staggered based on availability and hence a discussion point on the agenda tonight. We would like to extend this into the form of a calendar that will allow for greater collaboration and planning around events.

At home games, the meeters and greeters are kept busy with a variety of activities around the ground including supporting the pre match community groups who get a mini ground tour before the game. We are delighted to have expanded the team this season with two new young female team members joining our ranks. As our crowds grow and areas like the fan zone become increasingly popular, the team needs to keep evolving.

We are always on the lookout for more meeters and greeters, so please get in touch if you would like to join the team. As a thank you for helping you will receive a complimentary match ticket.

  1. Group updates

London Branch

  • On Friday February 23rd the branch held a Q & A event with Paul Simpson in Bristol. This event was held to launch the South West Group of the London Branch. Over 40 people attended the event, a number of Carlisle Utd supporters based in the South West who were not branch members attended and joined the London Branch.
  • The branch are currently carrying out a survey of members to help gauge views on what the branch has to offer them, and to determine what improvements members would like to see going forward.
  • Tom and Alice Piatak met branch members in the The Market Porter pub prior to Saturday’s game at Charlton. Despite the poor results this season, branch members (along with many other CUFC supporters) are still turning out in force to support the team at away games.


No real issues to report – fans are still keen to travel despite the dire results.

The four night stay in London and Lille went well and all enjoyed it.

CUSAT are sponsoring the final home game this season which is getting pretty close now - we look forward to doing that.

Keith has a framed shirt to present to David Wilkes's family in Foxy's before tomorrow night's match.

South Cumbria Supporters Club

Now 75 members and started using MemberMojo to communicate with members - all going well.

Warwick Road Enders

Sonny and Chris had set up a GoFundMe for providing easter eggs for deprived kids in the Carlisle area. Raised over £200 so far. Eggs to be donated. There is a small list pulled together for allocation. The club has connections such as ROCK (Currock) that could be used for allocation. Amy to publicise via CUFC outlets.


Short Survey now live on 'future of CUOSC', thanks to all who've shared/completed so far - This is part of our ongoing work into how we shape the organisation moving forward. More details to come in due course.

Members Boardroom Experience now happened a few times. Some fantastic winners so far, and good feedback from them all. Everyone of them really impressed with how the Club is moving post-takeover.

Stevenage Match, we'll have a presence in Fan Zone, will be finalising this at our Board Meeting on Weds.

Lincoln Match, Retro Kit Day, also finalising plans for this at the Board Meeting. Our thanks to Rob from PrintByRob for the excellent Poster/Images.

Membership sits at 1330 as of today, thanks to all who've joined so far this year.

  1. Any Other Business

Terry asked about 74-75 anniversary plans. Nigel said the club had ideas but he thought CUSG should take the lead on them. This item would be added to the agenda for the next meeting. A potential celebratory event would be discussed. There was a potential link in with the memorabilia/heritage exhibition.

John Kukuc has spoken to West Cumbrian fans about being represented again on the CUSG.

  1. Next meeting

April 22

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