Nigel Clibbens admits Carlisle United are in a “long process” of stemming “unsustainable” losses at Brunton Park.

The chief executive says the current financial approach at the club is designed to make it more sustainable.

United’s recent path of cost-cutting and reduced spending has led some fans to question the club’s ambition.

It has also led to concerns about the Blues’ ability to attract players this summer, with a host of new additions still needed.

Clibbens, though, said United – who are backed financially by Edinburgh Woollen Mill – could not continue making the kind of losses they suffered in past years.

He also said that, because the club cannot simply eliminate their loss-making overnight, there would be a further debt-for-equity swap by directors at the end of the next financial year.

That will reflect further loans by EWM, on top of the £1.3m they are already owed by United, to help prop up the club’s finances.

Carlisle’s last accounts showed an overall loss of £121,000, with £860,000 of loans having also been received.

Clibbens said: “The finances of the club are there for all to see last year.

“We made it clear we were trying to address the losses we were making, because they were unsustainable, and we’ve all seen the implications of not addressing those losses.

“To try and get from where we were to eliminate all losses is an absolute tall order. If we did that in one season there wouldn’t be much left for any spending.

“This is a long process. The history of this club is that it’s found it impossible over a number of ownerships and different approaches ever to operate within its own means.

“It’s just the scale at which those losses are being incurred. We’ve got to get that down, and that’s what we’re doing. But because you are still incurring losses, if you want to maintain the level of debt at a broad level, there has to be some debt for equity swaps.”

Clibbens said such transactions will be done at the end of their current accounting period.

The chief exec yesterday claimed the club’s playing budget was the same as last year.