It is often claimed, when one is trying to decipher long and frustratingly vague statements on important matters, that the real truth lies in what isn’t said.

Often the case – but not always. Sometimes the actual meat isn’t in what is or isn’t said, but in who’s doing the saying or unsaying. Especially when we aren’t being told.

Take “succession” at Carlisle United. Go on, please, take it, far, far away. Actually you can’t. It’s going nowhere. So let’s dive back in.

Carlisle United’s supporters’ trust CUOSC, at their annual general meeting in late July, said something which, when it appeared in minuted form, looked fairly emphatic, or at least pretty confident.

“Discussions over next few weeks should bring conclusion to two years of succession and debt issues,” were the words attributed to Billy Atkinson, their representative on United’s Holdings board.

Now, what constitutes “a few” can depend on your point of view. Carlisle have scored a few goals this season. They’ve also conceded a few. Carlisle United have a few quid. So do Newcastle United.

A few weeks, in CUOSC’s language, now amounts to 17. This, we can probably now say, is more than a few. We could use the word “several”, perhaps, or “many”, or “bloody loads”.

What we have here, then, is another of those Carlisle United predictions made by someone high up that doesn’t turn out to be nailed-on accurate. We will meet the investor in five to 10 days. A new stadium by 2018 is a realistic aim.

Nigel Clibbens, the chief executive, has in the recent past said that starting another “ticking clock” is something club bosses want to steer away from. The message is one of learning from mistakes.

News and Star: United directors: have made little comment on "succession" saga (photo: Barbara Abbott)United directors: have made little comment on "succession" saga (photo: Barbara Abbott)

Most of those in the seats of power appear to be sticking to this approach. Yet this did not, alas, deter CUOSC from going with the “few weeks” line, which has predictably not come to pass and has given supporters another peg on which to hang their growing frustration and disillusionment at this ongoing “takeover” saga.

A line in the trust’s latest statement, dated November 10, caught the eye. “CUOSC’s Holdings Board representative Billy Atkinson was told at the end of July that we might have some answers in ‘a few weeks’. We have asked again and are still waiting.”

A few things to unpick here. The word “might”, for one: a less certain term than July’s “should”. Also, “some answers” has now replaced “conclusion”.

More intriguing than all that, though, is the phrase “was told”. This is where the light needs to be shone.

Told by whom? Told in what circumstances, and told for what purpose?

Who made this risky and, it turns out, entirely wrong forecast? Who put the idea into the ears of a 25.4 per cent shareholder and let them run with it?

Whose purpose was served by saying that this will all be sorted soon, so you can probably all calm down?

Now, you could argue that CUOSC, as a part owner, should have interrogated that prediction with more rigour, and should have been much more cautious before putting it out to their members and, subsequently, the broader fanbase.

And you would be a million per cent correct, to borrow a Pressleyism. It’s of course possible that CUOSC simply listened to an honestly-held view and were left to regret rashly repeating it when events, as they can, changed course somehow.

Yet isn’t it curious how they have had to “ask again” and are this time waiting for answers, presumably from the same source, nearly four months on?

Isn’t it strange that the “few weeks” of July have now been replaced by fresh air, or at least nobody willing to say on the record what exactly is going on right now?

The trust, as you’d probably expect, would not disclose who fed them that specific summer line when approached by the News & Star this week. There’s not much on the process they feel able to disclose at all, in fact, judging by last week’s statement which said, in as many words, that the club will be for the financial high jump if anyone talks out of turn.

Hmm. Isn’t that a lovely picture painted: a gun being pointed at heads at a time United are floundering in the Football League, with a “process” said to have been under way for a number of years still to reach a desired conclusion? (Nobody else in power has commented on that picture so far, incidentally)

This “few weeks” business might seem trivial, pedantic even. Yet history surely guides us to think otherwise.

News and Star: Yahya Kirdi: Investment saga at United was launched in 2015 with infamous claim that meetings would be held in "five to 10 days" (photo: PA)Yahya Kirdi: Investment saga at United was launched in 2015 with infamous claim that meetings would be held in "five to 10 days" (photo: PA)

The “five to 10 days” which launched the Yahya Kirdi odyssey in 2015 became, after all, increasingly odd on reflection: a line that was confidently vague, loosely precise, but certainly giving of the impression that something was about to happen very soon with a potential investor, at the point another approach had just been controversially shelved.

Several hundred days later it became crushingly clear that the Kirdi debacle was not one for instant specifics. It never was – and while some at Brunton Park might not appreciate old ground being raked over like this, can it be any surprise that folk might look at what’s being said now and feel just a little cynical about the latest goings-on?