Carlisle United chief executive Nigel Clibbens has explained why a community stadium facility for the Blues is currently a pipe dream.

The director says there is no provision in the long-term strategic plans for football in the city that offers the prospect of a new home for United.

Clibbens says that, instead, the prospect of the Blues dealing with the big issue of their ground is linked to the fate of “succession” at the top of the club.

Clibbens was speaking at a fans’ forum hosted by the Blues’ supporters’ groups.

He said United had explored the possibilities of a community facility but plans for investment in football facilities in Carlisle do not include such a scheme.

It followed recent questions from fans regarding Carlisle’s ground and training facilities, with director of football David Holdsworth also saying he would love to sit down with the council to discuss the matter.

Clibbens said he had always regarded a community facility as the sort of plan that would “suit” the Blues.

But he added: “I know David has said things [like] if he had the time, he’d go and see the council. Well, I’ve been.

“I can give you what the answer is.”

Clibbens referred to the Local Football Facility Plan for Carlisle – one of 318 plans for areas across England, put together by the Football Foundation alongside the Football Association, local authorities and communities.

They set out areas of strategic investment in local football facilities. The Carlisle plan can be read here.

“One of those has been done for Carlisle but we [the club] don’t feature in it,” Clibbens said.

“A community stadium hub is not going to happen here, unless something radical happens.”

Clibbens said he had managed to negotiate one line into the plan that referred to United’s wish for a new stadium facility.

A passage in the report states: “It should also be noted that a new stadium for Carlisle United (potentially involving 3G facilities and associated CUFC Community Sports Trust and wider community use), is a long held ambition of the club.

“Whilst no clear site option has yet been found, it is recommended that a formal project group involving LFFP steering group partners should continue to develop proposals and therefore inform future versions of the LFFP as necessary.”

Clibbens added: “That’s the best I could negotiate into that given that nobody wanted to do a development here.

“Fans can [go online and] see what the plans are for spending on football facilities in this city. It’s there.

“It’s not carved in stone but as near as damn-it for the next 10 years.

“These things are strategic and take a lot of time and a lot of effort. But you cannot go to the council or to funding bodies and say, ‘Help us develop this’ in our current position.

“The first thing they say is, ‘How can we deal with you, you don’t know who’s going to be in charge in three or six months’ time?’ It’s not a credible conversation to have.

“This goes back to succession [at the top of United]. You cannot fix the stadium issue here until you fix succession.”

Clibbens said the sort of development lined up by the Blues at Kingmoor Park as part of the aborted Project Blue Yonder several years ago was now a much more remote possibility than before.

He also said Carlisle did not have the funds to build a new stadium the mselves.

He said: “Can clubs do it on their own? Not really at our level. Can they do it with development profit? Not really any more. With our flood [history and risk], our land value’s pretty low.

“Can you do it with a benefactor? We haven’t got one.”