The Cumbrian billionaire whose firm are loaning cash to Carlisle United says the club wouldn't exist without his financial help.

Philip Day, owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, made the remarks in a rare interview with The Sunday Times .

Two months ago it was revealed that EWM had a charge against Brunton Park having made "loan facilities" available to the Blues.

It has sparked speculation that Day's firm were poised to take a more involved role in United's affairs.

EWM have so far declined to comment either on the arrangement or how it might develop.

But in the interview with the national newspaper's Oliver Shah, Day briefly touched upon the Blues.

He said: “To be honest, I don’t even like football — my game is really rugby.

"But a lot of people who work with us go to Carlisle, and if I didn’t sponsor it, I don’t think it would exist.”

EWM have so far failed to respond to the News & Star 's requests for comment since news emerged in March of the charge against United's ground.

The Blues have so far played down suggestions it will lead to ownership change, with co-owner John Nixon recently telling a group of fans that Day did not want the "hassle and heartache" of owning a club.

But chief executive Nigel Clibbens last month did admit EWM were getting on board with United "in a more involved way".

He also said their input was part of moves to reduce the club's long-standing reliance on co-owner and chairman Andrew Jenkins.

EWM are expected to increase their commercial involvement with United this summer.

The Sunday Times Rich List rated Day's wealth at £1.15bn, but in the interview the tycoon said: "Ok, the company's worth £1bn, but I don't have anything like the money of a billionaire. I'd have to sell everything."

Blues co-owner Nixon, meanwhile, insisted his high-profile role at Saturday's FA Cup Final was "good for the club".

Nixon, who is chairman of the FA Cup committee, was part of the welcoming party that introduced guest of honour Prince William to the Arsenal and Chelsea players before the game.

Former United managing director Nixon, who now holds the title "director of external affairs", has faced criticism from some fans over his various roles with the FA and EFL.

But in an article on United's website he said his involvement at Saturday's Wembley showpiece was "a great honour for me on a personal level and also good for the club that we’re being represented at this level of the game.”

He also said his range of positions gain United "a higher profile", adding: "People connect my involvement directly with Carlisle United as a football club, which I really do think is important."

Defender Michael Raynes, meanwhile, says family reasons and the length of the deal offered by Crewe were among his reasons for quitting the Blues.

The centre-half turned down a new contract at Brunton Park and agreed a two-year deal with Crewe, with the option of a third year.

Speaking on United's website, Raynes said: "I’ve been with my partner for 10 years come October and I’ve been living away from home for five of those years. We’ve got a young family now and living away does become a consideration.

“I didn’t feel that it was fair on my partner to be away again, so when the opportunity to talk to a great club like Crewe came up I knew I had to at least go along and listen to what they had to say.

“The length of the deal was different to the one offered by Carlisle as well, and that had to be taken into consideration."