United media officer and first team kitman Andy Hall (AH) spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria's James Phillips (JP) ahead of Carlisle's League One match at home to Bristol Rovers, Hall first talking about the news that Blues striker Gary Madine is set to sign for Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed fee :
Where to start today? Let's start with Gary Madine, what can you tell us about this?
Yeah, Gary has been the subject of interest ever since he forced his way into the side in the wake of what he did at Wembley with that goal that he scored against Southampton. He led the line as a 19/20-year old, he did it really, really well. We have had scouts as I think has been common knowledge coming to the club ever since watching what Gary has been doing.
Enough of them have been interested in him for him to be the subject of a number of bids over the course of the last 12 months. So, they have been turned down but this one with Sheffield Wednesday, the board had to take a serious look at it as you do with every single bid. They called in the manager (Greg Abbott) when they decided it was one that they had to consider and he spoke to Gary.
Gary I think considered Sheffield Wednesday to be one of the big clubs, even though they are League One, 15-20,000 every week, it is a club where you can go and you can really make a mark I think. Because, they are a club that you would imagine will be on the up now that Mr Mandaric has got himself in there with his millions.
So, you have got to say that once everybody talks to each other, once you start to get a feeling that the player wants to go, what else is there that you can do but allow him to move on with your best wishes?
What can you tell us about the figure? I know that the managing directors confirmed on your website and in the general press release that £200,000 plus bids were turned down, What can you tell us about the deal that Carlisle United have got?
What we have to do is we have to adhere to the wishes of the purchasing club and Sheffield Wednesday have requested that we remain undisclosed. It is a never a club decision this, I know we get a lot of criticism for it but whenever we go undisclosed it is not something that we generally tend to do.
That sounds like a contradiction because almost every transfer that we release that involves money says undisclosed, but when the purchasing clubs ask you to do that, they have got many, many reasons why they ask you to do that, then you tend to adhere to it. You don't have to, I will be honest with you, but if you want to stay as a force within the transfer market yourself then you tend to do what the other club asks you to do.
Sheffield Wednesday have asked us to stay undisclosed so we will, what I will do and I will probably drop myself into a little bit of bother here, is that when the AGM figures come out at the end of every single year, I think you will find that nothing is ever undisclosed.
In terms of that though, as we have seen with bids in the past, Keiren Westwood springs to mind and of course Joe Garner, the figure that you get upfront and the figure that you might get if he is ever on the next space rocket to the moon involved. It is all sorts of things, promotion for Sheffield Wednesday to be serious, can you tell us anything about how decent the money is? What can you tell us?
For an asset like Gary Madine, I think he is an asset to any club and he is an asset to us, he has been an asset to us. So, you would not let him go, you wouldn't even talk about letting him go as we have done with the two bids in the past where we have looked at Gary, we have looked at his age and his potential, the goals that he has started to score and what he brings to the team.
So, you are not going to let him go unless a figure is reached that the board have already decided is the figure that would trigger any serious discussion on allowing him to leave. So, what I can say is, you have seen what the press release says, you have seen what the managing director has said, obviously there is a figure above and beyond that that has triggered serious discussion.
The club isn't happy to let him go but you have got to shake the lad by the hand and allow him to go because it is a career move for him. It is another League One side so that is arguable, but I would actually say it is a career move for him, it is an opportunity for the lad to go on and make a mark. What is a genuinely big club, because they get crowds of 15-20,000 and you have got to wish him all the best because everything has fallen into place for him to make that move.
What the fans are going to want to know is whether money is going to be available to the manager to replace his most marketable and now marketed commodity?
It is another question that not so much takes me by surprise but you sort of ask yourself, we keep getting asked that and yet whenever the manager and previous managers have asked if they can do something in the transfer market I have never known it to be turned down. Obviously, there is wrangling to be done but he has been backed pretty much as much as he can be in the financial situation that we are in.
We are not Sheffield Wednesday so we can't do what they do with that money they have got behind them but we can certainly work within a decent area within the transfer market. We have seen that, infact Lubomir Michalik is here this week and he wouldn't be here if we weren't an attractive club to come to.
And also was it a bit of speculating to accumulate there given that you perhaps knew that you were getting this money from Sheffield Wednesday, has that helped you bring in a player of his calibre on the money that he was reportedly on at Leeds United?
No, I don't think you can do that, I don't think you can ever second guess a transfer. Let's be honest, we still haven't finalised Gary Madine, he might be back on Monday, I would be amazed if he is but it is not done and dusted just yet.
So, I don't think you can ever speculate on what you might get or what you might not get. You have got to work with what you have got at that particular moment in time, have a look at the player, what is he going to bring to the club, if it is going to enhance it then you are going to sign him.
Just finally, a lot of turmoil, a lot of ins and outs and changes at the club when you really need three points and a performance today?
I hate January, I think the January transfer window is one of the most false things that the Football League and the Football Association have imposed on, not so much the Premier League because they can afford to do it. But, clubs outside the Premier League, and I include the Championship in that, you get inflated markets, you get inflated egos, you get all kinds of business that you wouldn't normally want to do that you have to do.
Because, clubs know that they have to come and get the best players that are on the go at that time and they have got to get in there and get them. The club that can afford to do that gets the player, everybody else is working behind that.
It is not something that…….. this is a personal opinion, please don't take it as a club opinion, but I think it is absolutely horrendous is the January transfer window, because it brings into play a situation that clubs at certain levels within the Football League can't really cope with in many ways.
Fingers crossed then for the three points today, and also that Carlisle can win and try to find the next Gary Madine in the coming weeks?
Well, there is the thing, we need three points don't we, we all know that the December month was a bad one weather-wise, the only game we played we lost, it was here at Brunton Park. The start of January hasn't been what we wanted, the season is still alive, Greg said that this week and it is still alive.
If we can do this today, keep everybody looking up that way in the league, we are good enough, we have got the players that are good enough to do that and we have got the Johnstone's Paint as well. So, let's stay positive, let's stay excited and let's get behind the lads.