Carlisle United's owners insist relegation can be a "catalyst" for major improvements rather than a "deterrent" to their ambitions.

The Piatak family, who bought the Blues last November, have issued their first public comments since United's return to League Two was confirmed on Saturday.

Via Castle Sports Group, the business formed as a vehicle for the takeover six months ago, the American business people said that, while the drop is "undoubtedly disappointing", it will not "define" their tenure.

And they reiterated their plan to invest in a host of on and off-field areas at Brunton Park to make the club stronger for the long term.

Saying they remain "steadfast in our commitment to the club's long-term success," the Piataks added: "The 2023/24 season has presented its challenges, and the outcome is not what we had hoped for.

"However, adversity only strengthens our resolve. We view this as an opportunity to reassess, recalibrate and come back stronger."

They said Castle Sports Group is "fully dedicated to bolstering the squad and fortifying the club's infrastructure.

"We understand the importance of investing in both talent and resources to compete at the highest level we can," they added.

"Relegation serves as a catalyst for necessary improvements, not a deterrent to our ambitions.

"Our vision for Carlisle United transcends short-term setbacks."

The Piataks say they retain a vision which sees the club successful and thriving, and where "our loyal supporters continue to rally behind us", adding that they are "committed to nurturing a culture of excellence both on and off the pitch."

United's relegation with four games of the League One season to go was confirmed with a 2-0 defeat to Northampton Town on Saturday. The Piataks were not at the game in person, as the weekend saw the wedding of club directors Jenna Piatak and Nick DeMasi in New York.

News and Star: United directors Jenna Piatak and Nick DeMasi got married this weekendUnited directors Jenna Piatak and Nick DeMasi got married this weekend (Image: Barbara Abbott)

The return to the fourth tier came after the American family took charge of the club in the autumn, and happened despite efforts to strengthen the squad in the January transfer window with a "step-change" budget aimed at boosting Carlisle's survival chances.

In recent weeks the Piataks have also underlined their faith in manager Paul Simpson despite the Cumbrians' poor campaign.

The statement, issued on Monday afternoon, added that fans, in the coming months, will see "significant efforts to strengthen the squad" with "strategic recruitment" aimed at helping the Blues move back in the right direction.

They add that ongoing work would continue on the club's infrastructure aimed at making United "a beacon of sporting excellence within the community."

That involves plans for a new training ground and significant work on upgrading stands and other facilities at Brunton Park.

The statement did not go into specifics on any changes or particular improvements planned for the footballing side of the Blues, as they look to recover in League Two and bounce back.

"While relegation may be a setback, it is not the defining chapter of our story," the Piataks added.

"With determination, resilience and the support of fans, businesses and community, we are confident that Carlisle United will rise again.

"The future is bright, and together, we will continue to build upon the rich history of the club."