Carlisle United have paid tribute to the businesses and fans who bought into their #GoodVibrations promotion – which should have packed Brunton Park this weekend.

The Blues were anticipating one of their biggest crowds of the season after cutting prices for Saturday's home game with Leyton Orient.

A number of businesses had contributed to a ticket donation scheme with the intention of helping many young fans attend the match.

The fixture, along with games across the country, had to be postponed with football on shutdown because of the coronavirus.

United said all the signs had been pointing towards a good crowd and they thanked those who wanted to help fans of the future watch the game.

Spokesman Andy Hall said: “It was looking extremely encouraging. It was looking like it was going to be a good, significant crowd with everybody feeling the good vibrations.

“We had 21 businesses, plus individuals, who had signed up to the ticket donation scheme, which benefited a significant number of schools and groups.

“There were more getting in touch to register their interest before sadly had to suspend things.

“We are grateful for all those people who bought into the scheme. It’s all about those fans of the future.

“It helps community groups, supports the community work the club does as well as the companies’ own community work.”

Saturday saw the first United home game suspended during the national shutdown designed to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Matches are off until April 30 at the earliest, including four home and five away games of Carlisle’s remaining league fixtures.

United had sought to capture the imagination of fans with a series of “Beech Boys” themed initiatives to promote the offer.

Hall added: “We had around 1,500 guaranteed tickets purchased through the ticket donation scheme already.

“There were other companies who were interested in taking up that option to help schools, groups and local community assets who they’d identified as places they wanted to support.

“By the middle of last week, with pre-purchase tickets taking it already over 4,000, it was looking encouraging, considering we had that week’s activity and the matchday walk-up still to come – the walk-up for the MK Dons promotion last season was huge.”

United on Friday said they had received a £164,000 advance from the EFL as part of the League’s £50m short-term relief fund for clubs.

They said the money will help with cashflow during the period without games.

The Blues said it was difficult to put an exact figure on how much they would lose through a postponement like Saturday’s. Hall added: “It varies from game to game, be it a Tuesday game or a Saturday game, and depending on things like the distance the away supporters are having to travel.

“What we can say is the more the situation goes on, that matchday income flow obviously stops and that becomes more of a concern.”