John Nixon says Carlisle United’s budget is at its highest for several years as they back Paul Simpson to turn around the club’s fortunes.

Blues directors say that, after increasing their player budget by 20 per cent last season, they have raised it again.

Club bosses commented on the spending approach which has changed after several years of belt-tightening at Brunton Park.

After reducing their outgoings considerably since 2018, directors say they are now able to loosen the pursestrings for Simmo.

“The budget we’ve approved is the highest budget we’ve had for some considerable years,” co-owner Nixon said.

“Were going to push it forward because we want to back the manager, because he’s got different ideas.”

Nixon said Carlisle had to change their habit of spending in excess of their income in the 2016-18 period because “it got us deeper and deeper into debt” and put the club in a “situation that was difficult to get out of”.

News and Star: John Nixon (photo: Barbara Abbott)John Nixon (photo: Barbara Abbott)

Helped initially by Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s loans and influence, the Blues changed direction.

United remain in more than £2.3m debt to Purepay Retail Limited as a result of those loans.

But they said the fact the Blues, day to day, operate on a more even keel financially now enables them to give Simpson extra backing.

READ MORE: Carlisle United say they used agencies to scout players before Paul Simpson's arrival

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens, speaking at a fans’ forum this week, said: “We increased the budget 20 per cent this season [2021/22] – we recognised, going back to last June, that operating on the levels of budget we had been was untenable, so we made the decision to increase it 20 per cent.

“We haven’t had much payback from that but we’ve committed to keep that going forward, and increased it again.

News and Star: Nigel Clibbens (photo: Barbara Abbott)Nigel Clibbens (photo: Barbara Abbott)

“It’s all part of helping Paul going forward. It’s no good us saying, ‘We’ve not increased the budget – now Paul, get us promoted’. That wouldn’t work.

“This is part of this overall plan to say we’ve got to grow our income and recycle some of that into the team to try and get up the division.

“Equally, we need better value for money from that. I’m a great believer that just spending more cash doesn’t necessarily get you up a division; you’ve got to spend it wisely.”

Clibbens commented on how United are trying to develop new income streams to support their spending plans.

He said the iFollow streaming service was likely to generate £100,000 a year of pure profit”.

He also said bringing the club’s catering in-house would start to generate new profit, and said the decision to appoint full-time retail and commercial managers this summer should also bear fruit.

Clibbens also said that “spreading out” income from “football fortune” – player sales and cup runs – would also help to support Simpson rebuild the squad.

READ MORE: Carlisle United owners: we are not at loggerheads with Purepay Retail Limited over debt