David Holdsworth says “changes will come, in time” regarding the big financial picture at Carlisle United.

The director of football was responding to questions about the involvement of sponsors Edinburgh Woollen Mill, who have been loaning the club money since 2017.

Holdsworth’s arrival came the following year through his connections with EWM and their billionaire boss Philip Day.

United fans have repeatedly called on the firm to clarify their longer-term intentions for the Brunton Park club, particularly given this season's struggles. Some have also called for a clearer picture on the future from the current owners.

Holdsworth said: “I completely understand and respect that point of view. I think those changes will come, in time.

“I’ve said before that we have fantastic support from EWM. They choose to support us privately, which I absolutely understand, and that hasn’t waned at all.

“With regards to change, and when the club has drifted along and certain things have and haven’t been done, there’s always going to be a degree of blame apportioned.

“There’s always a culture of blame at football clubs and all I can do is reassure the supporters that we’re trying to look after the club in a professional manner.

“We’re very accountable for the way we do our jobs and if that change does come we’ll embrace it and we’ll take that responsibility on to another level.

“What the owners have to decide on is what they want out of the club, and that’s their decision.”

Owners Andrew Jenkins, John Nixon and Steven Pattison, along with fans’ trust CUOSC, have been at the top of the Brunton Park club since 2008, but EWM’s loans – which in last year’s accounts had reached £1.3m – make them the Blues’ biggest creditor, their loans secured against club assets.

United this summer recouped fees for two of their top young players, with Liam McCarron and then Josh Galloway joining Leeds.

Fans have asked how that money has or will be used. Holdsworth suggested some had been used to fund recent signings, such as Gethin Jones.

Holdsworth said: “In both those cases, I don’t think I made myself very popular by turning down deals and different opportunities until the deals were right for us. I’ve got a very good relationship with Victor [Orta, director of football] at Leeds and we ended up sitting down for a coffee.

“Both of those boys will hopefully go on to have really good careers and we hope they do. The finance part must remain private, but both deals are structured so that we got some money up front and we’ve got more to come.

“We’ve used some of it, in terms of extending what Steven can do, but we don’t need to overspend. I’m very prudent and responsible. Steven got the players he wanted in after those two had left, and we supported Steven beyond that.”

Chairman Jenkins recently suggested some income had been spent on ongoing roof repairs at Brunton Park.

Holdsworth said: “People might think we’ve spent that money on a stand roof, but they are ongoing concerns at our club because it’s an old stadium.

“We’ve got to make sure our stadium is fit, and we’ll always, whilst the club is in the position it’s in, need to upgrade it.

“We must be responsible as a football club, and there is loads more I would like to do, and in time we hope to do that.

“People shouldn’t think all that money has been spent. When Steven wanted to bring Gethin Jones in, we found him the money, so people don’t need to worry about that. I gave him the opportunity to bring him in, and Gethin has added a little bit of steel to us.

“Our owners aren’t in a position where we get money in and they just take it. I work very closely with Andrew and he’s a fantastic chairman. He respects where we are and wants us to move forward.

“He’ll be hurting right now, because we aren’t in a place he wants us to be in either.”

When McCarron and Galloway joined the Elland Road club, Holdsworth said it could benefit Carlisle with loan players from Leeds.

No such signings have so far been made. Holdsworth said: “They did offer us some but Steven didn’t want them. They were certain players in certain positions.”

He said, though, that the relationship could benefit Carlisle in the future, and also with a potential pre-season game.

Holdsworth said: “With Leeds and these top clubs, they want their players to go and nurture somewhere, a bit like the goalkeeper [Nathan] Baxter. He’s gone to Scotland [with Ross County] and he’s a very good keeper.

“They also want to send them to Europe so that they get work experience away and in a different environment.

“Trust me, they will help us, and they’ve offered us an opportunity of having a pre-season friendly. Hopefully that’ll be good for us.

“All you can do is build relationships, as we have with the likes of Leicester and other clubs, and that becomes really healthy for us.

“They’re hopefully things you can tap into as you go forward. At the moment we have to do our best with this squad, but if a players comes on loan and he doesn’t perform, it leaves you with an easy decision to make.”

Holdsworth also claimed United would not sell talented defender Jarrad Branthwaite on the cheap.

The 17-year-old from Wigton has been watched by a number of clubs.

Holdsworth said: “I know there are a number of clubs who are looking at maybe one or two of [our] youngsters, I’d be silly not to know that, but if they want to take Branthwaite then they’re going to have to offer a lot of money for him.

“I see him as potentially a top player if he keeps his attitude right.”