Carlisle United’s directors have insisted the club is better for the involvement of their supporters’ trust – now there is no more “open warfare”.

Blues chiefs admit things were strained in past years – when CUOSC directors were sometimes asked to leave board meetings.

They say that mistrust between club hierarchy and fan representatives is no more, and United are “more attractive to buyers” as a result.

Fans’ trust CUOSC have two directors on club boards – Jim Mitchell on the 1921 operational board and Billy Atkinson on the strategic Holdings board.

United finance director Suzanne Kidd told a fans’ forum this week: “When I first went onto the 1921 board, and the CUOSC director at the time came to meetings, there were times that director was made to leave meetings so other things could be discussed.

“There’s none of that now. It’s a very open-house policy. [The CUOSC] guys come and go, speak to everyone in the building, are privy to everything that’s going on and are part of the decisions we’re making.

“It has changed. There was a lot of ill-feeling [before], a lot of bridges to build. Things don’t happen in the blink of an eye in this club but it’s better than it’s ever been in my time here.”

Kidd and chief executive Nigel Clibbens were responding to questions about what the trust bring to the table, with some fans questioning their value inside the club.

Clibbens also came out in praise of CUOSC's involvement, saying that while hurdles had needed to be cleared when it came to the club-trust relationship, the situation was much healthier now.

“When I first joined the club there was open warfare between the trust and the shareholders,” he said.

“Total distrust, conflict – not good for the club, or the individuals, to make progress. I decided early on that that had to stop.

“You cannot run a football club where you have infighting. Everybody needs to be on the same page about the direction the club needs to take.”

Clibbens said 1921 director Mitchell regularly put the views of supporters forward in boardroom discussions.

“These things are important – they give us perspective,” he added. “They reduce the scope to make silly decisions.

“I fought from day one to get the Trust a seat around the table and convince the other shareholders there was nothing to fear from having the Trust involved.

“It’s worked. Fans might not see it from outside but from inside it’s made this club better, more stable off the field…[so we are] not sweeping up crises like we had before.

“We’re in a position where someone who wants to walk into this club is not going to find skeletons in the cupboard. Our finances are clean, we are not haemorrhaging cash, we know what we are doing operationally.

“We are a simple club to deal with. That is attractive to buyers.”

Clibbens added: “If the fans believe the [CUOSC] guys sit in a corner and say nothing and it’s just a waste of time, that’s not the case. Without them the club would be worse off.”

Mitchell also said the trust had been “vocal” against what they regarded as bad takeover prospects – such as that attempted by Syrian “billionaire” Yahya Kirdi.

On their current role inside Brunton Park, he said: “We try to be part of the running of the club. We’re reasonably successful, I think, in what we do.

“We’re part of the structure of the club and its general work.

“We would like to bring a lot more but we fit in with the existing workings of the club, try to be as helpful as possible and put over the fan perspective.

“Having fans in the club helps the club behave in a particular way.”