Carlisle United's supporters' trust have said the Blues' failure to retain star midfielder Jamie Devitt is partly due to the new "financial sobriety" at the club.

The Carlisle United Official Supporters' Club (CUOSC) have also described some fans' criticism of the club in light of the move as "predictable".

They say United's financial approach, in tandem with backers Edinburgh Woollen Mill, is designed to avoid the sort of crisis engulfing other clubs such as Bury and Bolton.

Devitt yesterday turned down a new deal at Carlisle and is set to join another club, with Plymouth and Swindon among those strongly linked.

CUOSC said Devitt's "ambition" plus Carlisle's spending approach made his exit "likely".

Some fans have criticised the club for the length of contract Devitt is understood to have been offered. United maintained they tabled "very good" terms but have yet to comment on the length of the deal.

In their latest briefing to members last night, CUOSC - who have two directors on the United boards - wrote: "Today's news that Jamie Devitt has turned down the club's contract offer and is on his way out of Brunton Park has been met with predictable claims of a club in 'chaos' who lack any ambition.

"First of all, it must be remembered that Bury were being lauded as 'ambitious' a year ago and we all know how that turned out. Can they be allowed to play in League One (or even League Two) after failing to pay their players for months?

"The current CUFC set-up is all about avoiding such scenarios - and right now, there are a growing number of fresh financial crises, be it at Bury, Bolton, Macclesfield, Gateshead or other clubs.

"We've lost most of our best players down the years. So Devitt will be a loss but so were Ivor Broadis, Bob Hatton, Stan Bowles, Billy Rafferty, Peter Beardsley, Matt Jansen, Rory Delap and Brad Potts. They all made major contributions but were ultimately replaced. Devitt was here longer than Bowles, Rafferty or Beardsley.

"For a player who showed an ability to perform at a higher level than League 2, a move was always likely, no matter the terms offered by United.

"His departure partly reflects his own ambitions and partly the new sobriety that the club has had to adopt in terms of its own outlook since the arrival of EWM as main backers in March 2017."

CUOSC suggested the financial approach at the club was necessary after the spending under Keith Curle's managerial tenure.

They added: "Devitt was signed in the summer of 2016 alongside players like Shaun Miller, Mike Jones and Nicky Adams, when United were showing the 'ambition' that they are now accused of lacking.

"The facts are that that expensively-assembled squad, who began with a club-record 15-game unbeaten run, ran into trouble with seven goalless games and a record run of games without a clean sheet to limp into the play-offs and eventually lost out narrowly to Exeter City.

"The cost of the promotion gamble could be properly measured by 2018 when the club announced a loss of almost £700,000. This meant, in conjunction with new financial backers EWM, a new approach had to be adopted.

"This began in earnest last summer when over half the squad had to be signed due to departures. A similar situation is now facing United."

CUOSC also suggested manager Steven Pressley's approach and reputation had seen him backed by United with a new contract for this season despite United dropping out of the play-offs in 2018/19.

They wrote: "Manager Pressley has signed three defensive players thus far, but needs to bring in at least ten new faces with the priority a striker and a player who can fill the considerable void left by Devitt.

"Pressley was given a new contract due to his positive approach to player preparation and his solid reputation within the professional ranks for fitness levels and man management.

"These facets persuaded the board to retain his services despite disappointing results since his mid-January arrival."

CUOSC's directors at United are Jim Mitchell, who sits on the operational board, and Billy Atkinson, their representative on the holdings board.

The trust, who own 25.4 per cent of CUFC Holdings, had 514 members at the time of their board meeting on May 22.