Carlisle United's supporters trust CUOSC have claimed that "succession" talks at the top of the Blues had last year advanced far enough for press releases to be prepared.

The "plan", though, has since "stalled" with announcements "put into cold storage".

The claim came in CUOSC's latest members' meeting, minutes of which have just been published.

The trust said it was not clear whether the potential deal was now "dead and buried" and while other interested parties had since come forward, nothing concrete had developed.

United had long been understood to have been hoping for a deal with financial backers Edinburgh Woollen Mill, co-owner John Nixon having openly said at a forum several months ago that he wanted them to take "a share" of the club.

Carlisle remain more than £2m in debt to Philip Day's company but the placing of some of EWM Group companies into administration because of the impact of Covid-19 has cast uncertainty over the long-term situation.

CUOSC's Jim Mitchell, the minutes say, "described tentative succession plan [was] agreed by CUOSC, other owners and [a] third party in early 2019.

"EFL [were] involved, and needed financial assurances. Press releases [were] ready but put into cold storage. Plan stalled. Not down to CUOSC or other owners.

"Dead and buried? Not yet clear. Other parties have come forward but nothing concrete has emerged from these."

Also in the meeting, CUOSC's Frank Beattie was asked if the succession plan was dead in the water. "Possibly dead but we don’t know for sure," was his reply as recorded in the minutes.

Those acting for EWM have not commented on the potential ramifications of Covid-19 and administration on their financial ties to Carlisle.

United themselves have said that EWM have assured them they will be the first to know if there are any significant developments affecting the club.

EWM have a director on United's holding company board, EWM's group financial controller John Jackson. He has never commented publicly on the Blues.

CUOSC's Billy Atkinson also sits on the holdings board - Mitchell on the club's operational board - and told the meeting that no directors or fellow United owners had any "idea" about the implications of EWM's administration on United.

CUOSC, he said, were "actively attempting to acquire info".

Atkinson, the minutes say, said EWM's focus "is on [their] employees at present." He said they had so far not requested any repayment of United's loans, no interest paid and no call on the charge over United's assets against which the loans are secured.

Atkinson added that Carlisle had not drawn on EWM's financial help for 18 months, thanks to player sales and cost reductions.

The Blues, he added, "should be able to see out [the] season even without crowds."

He said money from the Premier League plus the EFL, plus income from those player sales, will determine the club's future prospects beyond this season.

Atkinson also said United had again furloughed non-football staff during this lockdown in order to "preserve as much money as we can". He added that club staff had been paid in full and "treated well".

The fans' director also said some claims on what United could recoup from former academy player Dean Henderson's England debut had been "exaggerated".

The club were likely to benefit from future payments in the respective deals that took Jarrad Branthwaite, Liam McCarron and Josh Galloway away from Brunton Park, he added.

United said they did not wish to comment on any of the above at this point.

Minutes from the meeting, which was held last Friday, can be read here: