Watch Jenny Longden's exclusive interview with Andrew Lapping:
A group of local businesses led by Andrew Lapping were on the verge of agreeing a major investment into Carlisle United... until the club revealed it's in talks with a second potential investor.
They've now put talks with Mr Lapping's group on hold.
The life-long fan says he's "shell shocked" by the news, and that the "timing is appalling" with the transfer window looming, and a need for the club to rebuild over the summer.
He says if the new investor doesn't agree to put money into the club, there's no guarantee he and his group will still be willing to invest.
One of the businessmen backing Andrew Lapping's bid to invest in Carlisle United, has claimed a "billionaire" is behind a surprise second investment offer.
Andy Bell, a Vice President and Sponsor for the club, said:
We have to look into this new investor as he/she is a billionaire and is willing to inject millions into the club and work alongside any current local investors such as myself, this may have come at a bad time but has to be looked into and checked out. We all want what is best for the club."
Carlisle United have revealed that talks with potential investor Andrew Lapping are now on hold after the club announced a prospective new investment offer from a second party.
In a statement released yesterday evening the club said it had held lengthy discussions with legal and financial advisers and has subsequently decided that current discussions about the club's shareholding should be temporarily put on hold until this new offer is fully assessed.
The Blues say the proposed investment is structured over a three to five year period as opposed to a one-off injection of funding.
However businessman Andrew Lapping, who has been working with the club for several months on his plan, said he was "shell-shocked" and hadn't seen this potential second investment coming.
"It is our duty as directors to get the best possible deal for the long-term future of the club. Therefore, it is essential that we take time to consider this latest development."
Meanwhile United Supporters' Trust said in a statement that they remain committed to Mr Lapping's plan and had been surprised by the announcement of the alternative bid
"The United Trust, following the statement re new investment from CUFC, would like to clarify that the approval to dilute its shareholding was voted for by the membership on the basis of the Andrew Lapping plan and no other. We still remain committed to this plan and the bright future it promises.
"These new proposals will need to be examined with all the care and diligence that Andrew Lapping’s proposals were and if it was felt the proposals had merit the approval of the membership would be sought again."
Queen of the South have announced that defender Andy Dowie has signer a new contract, keeping him at Palmerston Park for another year.
"Andy has been outstanding this season and to have secured him for another year is fantastic news.
"We see him as a key part of the squad and having already re-signed Chris Higgins, Derek Lyle and Iain Russell for another campaign is really positive.
"We also already have Ian McShane under contract, so things are starting to take shape for next season".
Carlisle United's chairman, Andrew Jenkins, has spoken out after the resignation of club director Steven Pattison.
"I would like to say thank you to Steven Pattison who has recently been asked to resign from the Holding Company Board by people who don’t really know him.
"Steven is a football person and first and for most a Carlisle supporter and season ticket holder of CUFC.
"Steven has carried out thousands of pounds in repairs around the ground over the years and is someone we depend on, after our annual inspection, to keep us safe at Brunton Park.
"He played football and he and his company have sponsored the Carlisle Youth League for many years.
"A few years ago Steven wrote off over £50,000 from the club accounts, for which we were very grateful.
"Thank you for everything Steven, I know you will still carry out work around the ground, free of charge, and that it will not be the last we will see of you."
Keith Curle has given a clear outline of how he sees the future of the club by revealing a list of players leaving in the summer and those available to other clubs.
The United manager met all the players personally today and informed them of the news.
Players who are already contracted to CUFC for next season:
- Patrick Brough
- Kyle Dempsey
- Danny Grainger
- Dan Hanford
- Connor Hammell
- Steven Rigg
- Charlie Wyke
The players being offered new contracts at Brunton Park are:
- David Atkinson (currently on loan)
- Jason Kennedy (currently on loan)
- Mark Gillespie
- Brad Potts
- Derek Asamoah (short term deal)
- Nathan Buddle (short term deal)
Contracted players being made to other clubs:
- Troy Archibald-Henville
- Mark Beck
- Gary Dicker
- Anthony Griffith
- Danny Kearns
- Courtney Meppen-Walter
- Billy Paynter
- Antony Sweeney.
Out of contract players who will not have their terms renewed:
- David Amoo
- Stephen Elliott
- Josh Gillies
- Sean O’Hanlon
- Matt Robson
- David Symington
- Paul Thirlwell
Some of those who will be looking to forge careers elsewhere will have been no surprise to blues supporters. While others, including Troy Archibald-Henville and recently back in form Sean O'Hanlon may have been less expected.
In a statement on the club website Curle made special mention of the conttribution Paul Thirlwell, United's longest serving player, has made in his years at the club and wished him well in his future career.
Keith Curle has said that he intends to sit down individually with every member of his squad today and give them his assessment of whether or not they have any part in the club's future.
United barely survived in the football league this season and Curle has made no secret of the fact that he wants to see a radical shake up. It is thought he has already identified some targets to be courted in the summer, but he also appears to have identified players in the current squad who will find themselves surplus to requirements. The list of who is available and who is being retained is expected to be released later today.
Carlisle United host Hartlepool United on the last day of the season at Brunton Park. It is expected up to seven thousand fans will descend on the ground for the game, despite both sides now being safe from the threat of relegation. Meanwhile Stranraer still entertain hopes of winning the Scottish League One title. They need to beat Brechin and hope that Forfar and Morton both lose if they are to clinch the trophy at the final hurdle.
A thousand friends and family of teenage footballer Dale Whillan, who died last month, are expected to attend a charity game in his memory.Read the full story ›
The manager of Carlisle United Keith Curle says players are finally playing like they should be.Read the full story ›