Carlisle United supporters’ trust director Jim Mitchell has defended the Blues’ hierarchy against accusations that they lack ambition.

Mitchell, who represents CUOSC on one of United’s boards, said he has seen “no evidence” that those at the top table at Brunton Park are unambitious.

The supporter representative was speaking at the club’s latest online fans’ forum where more questions were put to directors.

Carlisle’s direction under the current owners since 2008 has long attracted criticism from some fans, given United’s fall from the brink of the Championship to a seven-year run in League Two.

But Mitchell stood up for the hierarchy as he said: “What I’ve seen in the boardroom and when I go to games with the other directors – they are ambitious.

“They are fans, and they want the club to get up.

“The criticisms that are levelled at them for having no ambition – I’ve seen no evidence, personally.”

United are preparing for another campaign in League Two after last season’s mid-table finish.

The Cumbrians, who have a well-publicised “bottom six” playing budget, have been asked a serious of questions by fans about their plans for improvement at successive forums hosted by supporters’ groups (CUSG).

After last week’s forum brought revelations on the “succession” plan involving Edinburgh Woollen Mill / Purepay Retail Limited, the second event saw directors asked about their immediate ambitions.

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “The ambition is pure and simple – it’s to win promotion and get out of League Two. After that we want to establish ourselves in League One and then push to get promoted into the Championship.

“There are no limits in football but, put simply, the ambition is to get out of this league and we’re all focused on that.”

One supporter, in the online forum, challenged United’s chiefs to say why fans should buy season-tickets for next season.

The question referred to head coach Chris Beech’s recent comment that United’s efforts in 2020/21, when they finished 10th, should be “celebrated”.

Clibbens said: “That’s based on what Chris said. We all saw it and I know it raised a number of eyebrows with some fans as to what that actually meant.

“From my own personal point of view, if you look at where we’ve finished since I came to the club, we’ve been around 10th or 11th most seasons. We got to the play-offs one year and were 18th after the trauma last year in the incomplete season.

“Tenth is about par for this club in recent years. It’s not par in terms of ambition to do better – absolutely not.

“We need to make a distinction between success and progress. We had a season of progress [in 2020/21] but it wasn’t a season of success because we didn’t achieve anything or get over the line.

“We’ve got to come from a long journey back from where we were. But the team has demonstrated over the course of the season that it possesses a lot of the characteristics to challenge at the top of this division.

“We’ve got a lot of things to build up but I think everyone understands the work that needs to be done.

“Why would I buy a season ticket? I think there’s a lot to look forward to and we’ve got a lot of the building blocks in place.

“Supporting the club is about having a togetherness. If ever there’s a time for togetherness it’s now. The club’s been through a really difficult patch, we’ve managed it financially, lots of clubs are in a parlous state now and going into next season it could be worse for them.

“Now is the time to stick together. I think we’re stable off the field, financially ok, yes we’ve got issues to deal with in succession, but there’s a lot to look forward to.

“I think some unity and some backing of the club, getting behind the lads, backing Chris to make some more progress and hopefully get it over the line, and have some success rather than just progress, is worth fighting for.”