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Weekly Briefing

May 15, 2022

Dear <<First Name>>

Board Meeting Summary - May

Wednesday May 11 2022
Held at Upperby and online via Zoom

Attendance - Frank Beattie (chair), Nigel Davidson (vice-chair), Alastair Woodcock (secretary-Zoom), Mark Middling (Zoom), Billy Atkinson, Carol Wilson, Jim Mitchell (Zoom), Norman Steel, Malcolm Nugent, Gerard Gornall (non-board member)

There were no apologies.

Gerard attended the first part of the meeting which discussed the manifesto.

A draft version of the CUOSC manifesto was shared on screen. Several changes were proposed. Gerard offered to make some changes to improve it.

Paul Halliday had expressed an interest in joining the board. His co-option was proposed by Nigel and seconded by Norman. He was unanimously co-opted on to the board until the date of the 2022 AGM. Paul was offering to help improve our social media presence but had other areas in which he could contribute.

Feedback from the Football Fun Day was mostly positive. Nigel was keen to start preparatory work for next year as soon as possible. He would liaise with Ross Parkinson and Tracy Gannon. There would be opportunities to promote it more as a spectator event for next season.

The club were trying to organise an owners' forum asap. There would be opportunities to promote CUOSC membership this summer. Paul Simpson was enthusiastic about working with us and we would continue to discuss ideas with the club for raising our profile.

Our two board reps Billy and Jim had attended a gathering at the club last week where staff were given praise by the directors for their work over the last two years during the pandemic.

Billy was continuing to work with the club on providing a cover for the Fan Zone. A bar provided by Heineken was going to be put in place for next season. Billy had details of a supplier who could provide cover in the form of one or more marquees.

Billy was discussing the donation of old CUFC kit to refugee groups.

We agreed to put out a comment in this weekend's briefing about the disturbance during last week's minute's silence for the victims of the Bradford City fire.

Next meeting - June 15 (Upperby and/or Zoom)

Members' Meeting Summary

Thursday May 12 in Foxy's and online via Zoom

Board attendance - Frank Beattie (chair), Nigel Davidson (vice-chair), Alastair Woodcock (secretary), Mark Middling (Zoom), Billy Atkinson, Carol Wilson, Jim Mitchell (Zoom), Norman Steel, Malcolm Nugent, Paul Halliday

The meeting lasted for approximately two hours. A presentation on the big screen of the proposed CUOSC manifesto for Carlisle United was followed by an open question and answer session. The main points raised and answered are summarised below:

CUOSC Manifesto
  • Was shown in draft form at the meeting
  • Broken into eight main parts
  • Calls for responsible owners who will be able to run the club along sustainable lines
  • Calls for fans to be listened to and their views taken into account when decisions are made
  • Wants to see recommendations of the Government review into football fully implemented
  • Improve lines of communication between owners of football club and its supporters
  • Make Brunton Park a welcoming place for all fans
  • Improve reporting and transparency on financial side
  • Some criticism of lack of targets in the draft version

CUOSC Football Fun Day
  • Was well received by those who took part
  • Will be brought back next year
  • Will aim to make it a bigger event
  • Praise given to people who helped like Ross Parkinson and Tracy Gannon

Members' meetings and structure of CUOSC
  • Members' meetings to be organised more regularly
  • Sub-committees already in place on an 'as needed' basis
  • More volunteers to be sought out (don't need to become board members)

Commercial side of CUFC
  • New shirt sponsors announced earlier in the day
  • New commercial manager and club shop manager positions advertised
  • Tribute paid to John Watt for their work on catering this season
  • Fan Zone has been a success and will be expanded for next season

Ownership situation and boardroom representation
  • Billy as Holdings rep is continuing attempts to get movement on the PurePay debt
  • CUOSC is not considered a barrier to new investment
  • Owners are seeking new investment and are not asking for money for their shares
  • The situation with the PurePay debt has to be addressed by all owners not just CUOSC
  • CUOSC have met with people willing to offer help in finding investment routes
  • Billy involved in decision to increase match ticket price by £2
  • Increase in price was needed to help support football side
  • Billy said that without CUOSC involvement recent changes on football side would not have happened

  • CUOSC members need to decide what sort of organisation it wants to be regarding fundraising
  • Carlisle REUnited funds still in place are being aimed at improving the Fan Zone infrastructure

Board expertise
  • Legal and fundraising skills are being sought
  • Present board has significant experience in areas such as sales, marketing, financial, media, business ownership and IT
  • Time needed to devote to the board is a barrier
  • CUOSC will spell out the amount of time and resource needed to be a participating board member

  • 550+ members as things stand
  • Plans to improve joining process being progressed
  • Potential to work with club to promote benefits of membership
  • A more visible presence being looked at for next season on match days
  • Tiered membership plan is being worked on as a way to generate more income

  • Criticism aired over CUOSC use of social media
  • CUOSC engagement policy adopted and communicated already
  • Questions answered via email
  • Answers usually shared via weekly briefings
  • Support for more regular surveys of members/fans

Match Day
  • The family zone area is reserved for those with East Stand tickets
  • Activities for children in the fan zone will be increased for those who are in other parts of the ground

Manifesto for Change

We have this week released our manifesto for the future of CUFC. It was shown to members who attended the meeting on Thursday night. We have made it available for downloading. Link below:

We welcome any comments or suggestions you have to make. We'd like all responses within the next fortnight so we can work on completing any changes and publish the final version before our AGM which will be held in July.


CUOSC condemn any actions to deliberately disrupt the minute's silence at Valley Parade on May 7.

There have been reports of a Carlisle fan chanting during the silence but the exact circumstances are disputed.

We would remind any supporter that if the tragic fire on May 11, 1985 had taken place at Brunton Park, we would expect visiting fans to respect a minute's silence under those circumstances.


News & Star Column 12.05.2022

The close season kicked off this week with a ‘mad Monday’ as Blues fans were given plenty of hot topics to talk about.

The club’s retained list always stirs up interest and with goalkeeper Mark Howard a surprise inclusion among the eight players released there was much to debate.

The night before he had scooped five Player-of-the-Season awards – including CUOSC’s – at the club’s awards ceremony at the Halston Hotel.

Howard admitted afterwards he had no idea where he would be next season, so perhaps, he already had an inkling it wouldn’t be a Brunton Park.

However, he leaves with the best wishes of all supporters and with the accolade of his team-mates, who also voted him Player-of-the-Season.

Howard said: “I have had a great connection with the fanbase. But to also win an award voted on by your peers means so much. I’m very humbled.”

Then just as fans were beginning to digest the retained list came the shock news that former boss Greg Abbott had returned to Brunton Park as head of recruitment.

Manager Paul Simpson said he was delighted to get someone “who knows what it’s like to be part of Carlisle United.”

He is looking to Abbott’s extensive knowledge of lower league football to help him bolster his squad with at least six new players.

Let’s hope we have found the winning formula we have been looking for. Simpson was the last man to win promotion with the Blues in 2006 while Abbott was the last man to bring silverware to Brunton Park in 2011 when we won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Simpson clearly believes we are at the start of a good journey and wants the fans and businesses to get behind the team. A few sceptics have said they have heard it all before. They may have done – but not from Simpson. And after his success in keeping the Blues in the League he deserves nothing less.

Another bit of good news that almost crept under the radar on Monday was that goalkeeping coach Paul Gerrard has agreed to extend his stay meaning that Simpson’s backroom team is now in place and already thinking about the new campaign.


Latest from Brunton Park

This week came Paul Simpson's announcement of his retained list for next season. The big surprise was the release of goalkeeper Mark Howard who last Sunday evening won numerous awards including the CUOSC Player of the Season.

Joe Riley announced he was turning down the club's offer to pursue opportunities elsewhere. 

Current CUFC squad:

Magnus Norman*, Gabriel Breeeze, Scott Simons
Jack Armer, Morgan Feeney, Corey Whelan, Joel Senior, Jon Mellish, Jack Ellis
Taylor Charters*, Josh Dixon, Joe Riley**, Callum Guy, Brennan Dickenson*, Lewis Bell, Jordan Gibson, Max Kilsby, Jamie Devitt***
Tristan Abrahams, Sam Fishburn, Omari Patrick, Kristian Dennis, Oluwatobi Sho-Silva 

* Contract offered
** Contract offer rejected
*** No contract offered but invited back for pre-season training

Proposed meeting dates 2021-22

Board meetings

Venue: Online or Upperby

June 15  – 6.30pm

AGM 2022
July 17 2022 (future AGMs likely to be in January from 2024 - TBC)

Catch-up meetings – to arrange as and when needed

Members’ Meeting Dates 
Venue: Online or Brunton Park

Next meeting: TBA


To contact Jim Mitchell, please drop him an email via - you can raise any issue with him. Some things may not be relevant at board meeting level but Jim has regular contact with various people at the football club and your issue will be raised with the appropriate personnel, should it require an answer from the club. As an attendee at meetings of Carlisle United Supporters Groups he has the opportunity to raise concerns, queries and issues in that forum as well. You can also raise internal CUOSC issues with Jim. If Jim isn't available, we will pass on your query to his deputy, Billy Atkinson. Billy is also your representative on the board of CUFC Holdings

Next CUOSC Board Meeting - June 15
Next CUSG Meeting - May 16

Quiz Time

Spot the player
Identify the player from the following clues:

Position: STRIKER
Career: 1957-77
Clubs: Distillery, Portsmouth, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, Peterborough United, Leicester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Los Angeles Wolves (loan), Kansas City Spurs (loan), Kettering Town

Last week's answer: PETER SHILTON (first correct answer from Michael Driver) 

Spot the Club
Identify the club from the team line-up and season :

Category: EASY
Season: 1981-82
Line-up:  Kendall, Lees, Relish, Davies, Oakes, Johnson, Vaughan, Elsey, Aldridge, Gwyther, Moore

Last week's answer: TRANMERE ROVERS (first correct answer from Eileen Graves)

Answers in next week's briefing

Weekly Briefing editor: Alastair Woodcock
News & Star column: Malcolm Nugent

If you have any items you'd like to include in this briefing, please reply to this message.

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Contact CUOSC
Tel: 07999 73 73 90
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