Carlisle United have issued a statement following relegation - saying they share fans' upset after a "desperately disappointing" campaign.

The Blues admit they have fallen "well short" in League One despite all their efforts.

The club paid tribute to the support they have received from fans and said they have an "unwavering determination" to bounce back.

The full statement, which was published on the club's website after the 2-0 defeat at Northampton Town which confirmed their return to League Two, is below.

"Everyone connected with Carlisle United Football Club shares our fans' deep upset following confirmation of our relegation back to Sky Bet League Two after today’s results.

"At the start of this season, we began the campaign realistic and aware of the challenge ahead, but this season has been desperately disappointing.

"Despite the best efforts of all the players, staff and everybody working at the club to retain our status, plus the impetus from a change of ownership, sadly we have fallen well short. After the takeover and especially after the January transfer window, results have not improved as we all hoped they would. 

"Throughout the whole season, the fans have continued to give fantastic support home and away in their thousands. As always, the Blue Army has been a credit to the football club and to Cumbria. Thank you all for standing by us in the face of these results.

"We are truly sorry that we have not been able to give you the season such tremendous support deserved. To still have our highest average home attendances for nearly 50 years shows the potential of the club going forward. 

"Work is already well under way to learn from the experiences of this season and to prepare for a busy summer as we now focus all of our energies on next season. As fans know, there are lots of developments already underway with others to look forward to - these will make a difference in future, but that doesn’t change our feelings today.

"Whilst everyone feels devastated just now, there remains an unwavering determination to come back better and stronger."