A group of unnamed local business people and two former players who approached Carlisle United have "ended talks", it has been confirmed tonight.

The group, that includes ex-Blues players Chris Lumsdon and Steve Skinner, have said they have been unable to gain the answers they were looking for.

United and backers Edinburgh Woollen Mill have tonight declined to comment, having last Friday issued a joint statement urging anyone making financial approaches to do so through the correct "formal channels".

The group insisted they spoke with senior figures on the club's board and those associated with EWM in the manner advised before news of their approach broke.

They had said they were exploring ideas to "help" the club but needed more information on United's terms regarding shares and debt before putting detailed proposals forward.

They have now said they have been "unable to attain the answers" they required. But they have said they will be prepared to reopen talks if United and EWM - whose boss is billionaire Philip Day - wish to revisit the situation.

The approach appeared to be thrown into doubt last Friday night after a joint statement from the club and EWM stressed the need for approaches to come through official channels which must not be “bypassed”.

Lumsdon then suggested on Saturday that some parties on Day’s side of discussions – who he did not identify – had not been aware of the statement, and that there may have been “miscommunication” before its release.

Neither United nor EWM would comment on that suggestion today.

EWM have been significantly involved with the Brunton Park club since 2017, when they set up a "loan facility" which has since seen United borrow a seven-figure amount.

In last Friday's statement the company made a rare comment on Carlisle affairs, saying: “We’re supporters of the club because we’re passionate about the role it plays in the local community; we need a flourishing club at the heart of Carlisle. Nonetheless, we have always considered ourselves quiet supporters, providing assistance and support only when asked.

“We would welcome being joined by other passionate financial supporters who see the world in the same way as we do, and want to protect the long-term interests of the club. But these approaches need to be made through the formal channels – which cannot be bypassed – at the club, with us being kept up to date.

“We may develop our own view, but it would always be driven by protecting the long-term interests of the club and its central role in the community. That is our priority.”

United chairman Andrew Jenkins was also quoted in the statement, saying the club have "always enthusiastically welcomed support and approaches that can deliver for the club, fans and the community" and that they entertain all proposals seriously and "with an open, positive attitude."

But the veteran co-owner added: "When we are approached, the standard formal process needs to be followed closely to ensure the best result for the club.

"It is critical to have the full details in a comprehensive proposal document so that they can be considered carefully and closely, and we can conduct all the required due diligence, such as ensuring compliance with the EFL rules.

“These details need to be shared through the formal channels for consideration by the board of directors, who can then make a recommendation.”

None of the business people involved with the "group" have been named, likewise details of any potential financial offer.

Fans' trust CUOSC said they could not comment further, having received no further information about the approach.