Wait goes on for response from firm over Carlisle United debt, Blues reveal

·3-min read
Carlisle United owners and directors (photo: Barbara Abbott)
Carlisle United owners and directors (photo: Barbara Abbott)

Carlisle United are still waiting for a response from lenders Purepay Retail Limited over debt proposals - more than two months later.

The Blues say they tabled new terms in late May in an attempt to reach agreement over repayment of more than £2.3m.

But latest information published by the club shows the wait goes on for things to be resolved.

"A new proposal was made in late May. We are waiting for a response," reads a club update circulated to fan representatives ahead of a meeting on August 8.

"No new discussions have taken place. Position is unchanged."

The lack of progress in the situation is despite a public appeal by one United director for Purepay to come to the table.

Billy Atkinson, who represents supporters' trust CUOSC on United's Holdings board, told a forum in July he was "really, really disappointed" Purepay had "made no effort" to come to the table to resolve things.

READ MORE: Carlisle United fans' trust man makes appeal over Purepay debt

The News & Star invited John Jackson, a Purepay and CUFC Holdings director, to comment in light of to Atkinson's remarks, but received no comment in response.

We have again invited him to comment on the latest information from the club.

The debt is a legacy from United's borrowings from Edinburgh Woollen Mill which started in 2017.

United's update, issued to Carlisle United Supporters' Groups (CUSG) reps, added: "No new external debt funding is planned in 2022/23.

"The Holdings board continues to seek a way forward to agree a repayment programme with Purepay to pay down capital and service the interest.

"As said before, it cannot be ruled out that Purepay will require cash repayments in 2022/23 (and beyond), as confirmed in the audited financial statements."

United, though, added that "we continue to be in a sound financial position day-to-day, with cash reserves in the bank.

"Our trade creditors position remains good with the liabilities being low. All our PAYE and VAT liabilities continue to be paid up in full and on time."

United's update, meanwhile, covered other areas of the club's day-to-day business.

It included comments on the recent new kit launch priod, which was described as "the best on record".

"Sales in the last quarter are 47 per cent up on last year 2021/22," said United.

The club also reported a bumper day of retail catering on the first game of the season against Crawley Town.

But they admitted this ws "overshadowed" by a number of issues, including an IT outage in Balderstone's bar, a new container bar "overwhelmed by fan demand", a pump failure and staff no-shows.

Carlisle say the IT fault has been fixed, more space and seating will be introduced, a bar pump with increased capacity will be in place this weekend, more stock will be available and, when it comes to staffing, "a series of additional recruitment days is being held. Agency staff are also being sought.

"Any fans who want to help in bars would be most welcome."

The CUSG minutes, meanwhile, confirm that John Kukuc - the former CUOSC chairman - has been unanimously voted as the new supporters' groups meeting chair.

They also featured a short update on work on a training pitch behind the Pioneer Stand at Brunton Park, on the eastern side of the flood barrier.

"Nigel [Clibbens, chief executive] said Environment Agency permission was needed," the minutes say.

"It would not be a quick process. Excavations have taken place."

The full supporters' group minutes can be read HERE