With 2021 drawing to a close at Carlisle United, we've taken a look back at some of the eyecatching, controversial, headline-making, important and offbeat things people said at the Blues over the course of the year...

“If they do that over a longer period then I’m interested in the league table” – head coach Chris Beech after United go top of League Two at Walsall on January 2. 

“I’m hopeful when we can let our tigers and lions out of the pen, they’re ready to eat” – Beech after a near month-long spell without playing in January

“We’ve got to celebrate what we’ve achieved because in theory it shouldn’t really happen” – Beech after United finished 10th.

“At this point in time, no, it isn’t up for sale. If we’re looking to further the club it will be with that investor” – co-owner John Nixon on takeover talks with EWM/Philip Day in May. 

“I physically can’t sign that, especially when I have options in higher leagues. From a professional standpoint, the contract offer’s quite disrespectful” – defender Rhys Bennett during a live stream in May. 

“Don’t bleat about it afterwards. And certainly don’t discuss it while you’re playing Space Invaders with a fan. I don’t get that” – director of football David Holdsworth’s response to Bennett's remarks at a fans’ forum. 

"The last thing I want to do is to start tearing fractures between members of the football club...I was quite upset that I was represented in that way, but I left myself in a position where I could be - that is my fault and apologise for that" - Bennett clarifies his comments.

“You’ve had too many pizzas” – a joke by CUOSC’s Jim Mitchell to a fellow fan rep backfires in June. 

“He’s got people to sit down and talk to each other. From my experience of working with the fans at Carlisle, that was one of the biggest issues. Trust had been so badly degraded" - TFE Fan Engagement Index's Kevin Rye praises Nigel Clibbens as Carlisle United are rated second highest in the country.

“It would have taken a lot to leave, but after speaking to the manager I’m really excited to be at Wrexham” – defender Aaron Hayden after swapping the Blues for the big-spending Red Dragons in August.

“I had to teach him how to take a throw-in, would you believe” – Chris Beech after the sale of George Tanner to Bristol City in August. 

“If he's their scapegoat then good luck to them" – Robins manager Nigel Pearson’s response. 

"It tarnishes the reputation of the club and our fans” – chief executive Nigel Clibbens after damage to seats at the Hartlepool game. 

"Nothing will change a troll’s mind, because it’s part of their make-up. They are the antithesis to what’s in Michael Knighton’s heart. I could have sat down here in a crucifix position, grown my hair long and said, ‘Behold, my son, I am Jesus’. They would still not change their mind" - Mr Knighton, of course.

"A simple act of human kindness" - Clibbens on the decision to allow Knighton into the directors' box at the Tranmere game.

"We were very surprised to see him in the directors' box. Many supporters will be saddened by this given the acrimonious way he left the club" - CUOSC's take on Knighton's appearance.

“I am disappointed that things haven’t worked out the way we all intended, it has certainly not been due to lack of effort or desire on anyone’s part, but I appreciate that in football, the person picking the team is ultimately accountable for success and failure.” – Chris Beech statement after his sacking. 

“Whilst we feel that the group can be a good thing, there’s a few issues that have occurred in recent months that have at times left us rolling our eyes” – thecumbrians.net announce they are withdrawing from supporter group forum CUSG in September. 

“I’ve never been relegated in my life, I’m not even considering that. I’d rather worry about the salt and pepper on my chips” – Holdsworth after the sacking of Chris Beech in October. 

"I can inform supporters that we continue, on a regular basis, with talking to a possible investor wanting to take over the club. These discussions are and will always be carried out in a business-like fashion in private, and not in local newspapers or other media” - chairman Andrew Jenkins in October.

News and Star: Gavin Skelton: Caretaker's Cumbrian pride (photo: Barbara Abbott)Gavin Skelton: Caretaker's Cumbrian pride (photo: Barbara Abbott)

“I got a phone call on Sunday to see if I was happy to take training on Monday, and going forward into the game. Obviously I said yes because as a Cumbrian I want the club to do well and I want to help if I can" - Gavin Skelton as he took caretaker charge.

“We all know that he joins us at what is a challenging time, in terms of results and league position, but he’s ready to meet that head on. We are looking forward to supporting him as he joins us as our manager" - Jenkins on the appointment of Keith Millen.

“I’ve dealt with top players, so I know I’m pretty good at understanding where players are. I am very driven and very demanding” – new boss Keith Millen in November. 

“It’s hard to see how it would do anything but make it more difficult in getting players in or winning” – Nigel Clibbens on the risk of protests at Brunton Park in November. 

“We have to change the mentality. We cannot continue to have people telling me that we’re playing better football – when you’re losing football matches that’s not acceptable” – Millen after defeat to Harrogate in November. 

"There's no settled position adopted by the Holdings board on 'succession' as a whole" - fans' trust CUOSC in November.

“The Holdings Board finally and reluctantly decided the lack of support from CUOSC for a deal meant the other shareholders could not transfer total control of the club to a new investor on the transaction, as proposed” – CUFC Holdings statement on the end of takeover talks in December. 

“CUOSC were still asked to dilute our shareholding but this time there would have been no change of control at the club for the foreseeable future. We believe this would not have been acceptable to our members or the wider fan base” – fans’ trust in their own statement.

"We have seen the odd club go 'public' with 'for sale' signs in the past but we tend to regard that as a PR stunt to feed the media and fans rather than as a serious attempt to attract the right sort of buyers" - CUOSC again.

“The win is for them, as far as I am concerned” – Millen dedicates the victory at Stevenage in December to United’s fans.