All systems go for Fred as Trust backs takeover

Last updated : 22 July 2004 By Al Woodcock
Kate Rowley
Kate Rowley: Full backing for takeover
The Board of supporters' group The United Trust (formerly CCUIST) have agreed to back Fred Story's takeover of the football club.

The two parties met last night to discuss the building tycoon's takeover of the majority shareholding in CUFC Holdings Ltd from John Courtenay. The Trust issued a press release which stated that an amicable way forward had been agreed and they now hope to promote the '£350 for United' scheme to supporters, businesses and other organisations in time for the kick-off of the new season, with the full support of the new owner.

"There has been a good deal of conjecture and speculation about the reasons for John Courtenay's departure and to reassure both ourselves as board members and the fans we felt that it was only fair that we spoke to John prior to meeting with Fred," said United Trust chair Kate Rowley. "John confirmed his reasons for leaving the club and repeated that the arrangements with Fred Story were completely amicable and the right way forward for Carlisle United. We then had a long and productive meeting with Fred and were more than satisfied with his proposals in both the short and long term".

Dick Young the Trust's Vice Chair and CUFC Board member added "Fred will try to put the club on an even keel over the forthcoming season which will go a long way to ensuring financial stability. He will also do his best to build a winning team on and off the pitch but he will need the support and commitment of the whole community to achieve this. The fans can help by contributing to the trust share fund either as a one off or via the '£350 For United' appeal. All money raised will go directly to the club and the obvious spin off will be that we are able to cement the future of the trust and re-enforce its important role in the club and the community".

"The events of the last few weeks should go along way to convincing fans of the importance of their support for the trust and the obvious benefits of a fans organisation having a place at the table when negotiations such as these take place - the existence of the trust means that the fans have been represented and consulted and are able to play a continued role in the future of the club".

Story will complete the takeover once he has completed the formalities of due diligence - the process by which the club's accounts are checked for accuracy to ensure the buyer knows the full extent of the business's financial position. The Trust have still to formally sign off the agreement to give them an increased 25.1% stake. Neither party envisages any delays and the takeover should be completed before the season kicks off on August 14.

Simmo keen to ditch four

Manager Paul Simpson has re-iterated his desire to trim the squad in anticipation of new arrivals in time for the start of the season.

Darren Kelly and Paul Raven are both free to leave the club and two other, unnamed players are also on the transfer list. Simpson put nine players on the list last season and only three - Kelly, Michael Jack and Craig Farrell - still remain on the payroll. Farrell was taken off the list after a series of impressive displays towards the end of last season.

Meanwhile, trialist striker Karl Hawley continued to stake his claims for a permanent transfer with two more goals for the Blues yesterday in a comfortable 3-0 victory over an Isle of Man Select XI. The result means Carlisle will be taking on Wrexham tomorrow for third and fourth places in the mini-tournament.

Simpson still has injury worries with Paul Arnison, Will McDonagh and Brian Shelley all amongst the walking wounded. In addition the manager has a knee injury that requires surgery. He will miss the start of the campaign but hopes to be back in contention before the end of August. Keeper Matty Glennon has not featured in pre-season up to now because of injury but the big keeper is expected to be back for the big kick-off.

Picture from News & Star