Carlisle United say more fans than ever are using the iFollow streaming service – and have earned the club £138,000 so far this season.

The Blues have thanked supporters for the vital support that gives the club at a time Covid-19 continues to take its toll on finances.

In their latest update, United say there have been 18,552 paid streams of their 21 league games, generating a total income of £138,000, that figure coming after adjusting for payments to host clubs when the Blues play away.

United say they are second in League Two for the number of home paid streams, and sixth for away paid streams.

Highlights included 1,118 streams for the Bolton game on Boxing Day even though 2,000 fans were in Brunton Park that day.

Last weekend’s trip to Walsall, meanwhile, attracted a record away figure of 1,318.

Such take-up of the service is increasingly important now fans are again not allowed to attend games because of the virus.

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “Our fans are showing even more support for the team through the iFollow service as we have moved up the league table.

“Few fans could be at games in the period, but they still want to support and be with the team in spirit and share in the games, performances and results. 

“Fans are watching in bigger and bigger numbers. It is no substitute for live action, and being there, but it continues to make a real difference.

“Our best start on the field since 2016/17, getting to top spot and watching a winning team that is creating chances and working very hard, with grit and togetherness, is great to see.

“It’s coming through into the iFollow numbers.”  

Clibbens says United’s average is 837 streams per game, a rise from 823 at the 15-game mark despite recent home matches seeing 2,000 crowds.

“With fans now locked out again, we expect home paid streams to increase in the next period, and the future income looks on track to be a really important factor with all our other income stopped again,” the director added.

“As every week and month passes, the financial cost [and club losses)] get bigger and bigger.

“The effects of Covid on our fans and their own employment and business are growing, so the growing support is superb. We say again - thank you.”

United have advised fans not to use ‘pirate’ streaming and only to use the official club service.

For more details visit the club website.