Carlisle United say they have held "positive talks" with Edinburgh Woollen Mill over the club's long-term financial future.

Members of the Blues hierarchy met top brass from billionaire Philip Day's firm recently.

It came as EWM were confirmed as Carlisle's shirt sponsors for the 2017/18 season.

But the discussions are also said to have focused on a "deeper" relationship between the Brunton Park club and Day's company.

The talks followed the revelation in March that EWM had made "loan facilities" available to United, secured by a charge on Brunton Park.

Details have remained scarce on the long-term relationship between the Blues and EWM, with the club having played down talk of potential ownership change.

But it is understood further discussions will now be held as United's owners seek more details on how much involvement EWM will seek in the club's affairs.

A Blues spokesman said: "Talks were positive.

"Both parties are now looking forward to seeing how it develops from here."

Dubai-based Day, who also lives in Edmond Castle near Brampton, is Cumbria's richest man with a £1.15bn fortune according to The Sunday Times Rich List. The tycoon recently said he doubted United would "exist" without his sponsorship.

United chief executive Nigel Clibbens said that, without the loan arrangement with EWM, chairman Andrew Jenkins would probably have "stepped in" with further financial support.

Clibbens, though, has stressed that the EWM loan deal is part of measures to ease the club's reliance on Jenkins.

The Blues, meanwhile, say the shirt sponsorship deal with Day's firm is separate to the loan facility.

The club declined to comment on how much the shirt sponsorship was worth.

EWM have so far failed to respond to the News & Star 's requests for comment on their growing financial relationship with the Blues.