One of Carlisle United’s supporters’ trust representatives says club bosses are “consistently asking” for lenders Purepay to come to the table to discuss the debt situation.

But there appears little sign of the crucial matter being resolved.

Billy Atkinson of CUOSC said requests are being made “regularly” for dialogue with the company who United owe a seven-figure sum.

The debt is widely regarded as something that needs to be resolved before the Blues can move forward towards new ownership.

The sum is a legacy from the Blues’ loans from Edinburgh Woollen Mill from 2017, Philip Day’s firm having intended to take over the club before talks broke down.

The debt was subsequently ‘novated’ – moved – to Purepay Retail Limited after EWM went into administration.

Atkinson, who sits on the Holdings board along with United’s owners, suggested that the matter was still far from being dealt with.

Speaking at a CUOSC members’ meeting on Thursday night: “The present owners including us want change of control. Everybody knows the situation why EWM and Philip Day came in a few years ago.

“We have a loan that’s outstanding to Purepay Retail. The members of the board at the club consistently ask someone from Purepay to come and talk to us, to try and sort out how we can deal with that loan.

“We can’t drag them to the table. But we ask and we ask and we ask.

News and Star:

Pictured above: Philip Day, back right, with David Holdsworth (photo: Stuart Walker)

“That’s all the board, not just us. All we want to do is discuss it with them. We’re not demanding this or that. Once there’s a resolution to that, we hope there will be people willing to come and invest in the club.”

Atkinson, meanwhile, claimed that without CUOSC’s intervention in recent months, EWM would still be involved with the Blues and director of football David Holdsworth, who is close to businessman Day, would still be in place.

Holdsworth left Brunton Park in February on the same day Paul Simpson returned as manager, Carlisle going on to save their EFL status.

Atkinson made the claim when answering a question on what the trust’s primary role should be.

He said: “The members of the trust need to decide what this trust wants to be. The idea of our manifesto is there’s a draft, we put it out to the members and members give us their responses.

“On three occasions - and we’d have to go to the members obviously - we’ve considered giving our shares up to bring investment into this club. It has not been taken up.

“If you look at the future, this is not what the [government’s] fan-led review is advocating.

“We need to decide – are we a fundraising body or a body that’s going to hold the club to account. That [the latter] is what we have tried to do for the last four years.

“If we weren’t represented on that Holdings board, does anybody believe Edinburgh Woollen Mill wouldn’t still be here, do you believe David Holdsworth would not still be here?

“Do you not believe those changes would have happened unless we were represented on that board. Because I can tell you it would not have happened.”

Atkinson said CUOSC’s role was currently regarded as one that should hold United’s leaders to account, and that the club instead viewed the CUSG supporters groups as a main fundraising body.

It was also said by CUOSC reps that they were "under-resourced" to play a major fundraising role as well as holding club bosses to account, while Atkinson said their role was something members needed to decide.

The fan representative, meanwhile, denied that CUOSC’s 25.4 per cent voting rights in United’s Holdings company was “putting off” potential suitors.

“I don’t believe that’s the case,” he said.

“Nobody has told me that we’re a problem. Over the last two years we’ve tried really hard to work with the club to bring in new money.

“When the club needed support, we agreed a deal with EWM. We did not break that deal. But it never happened, and in the end we withdrew our support for that, and in the end all the directors did.”

The News & Star attended the members' meeting via Zoom with CUOSC's permission.

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