We won't be singing Slade songs this Christmas.

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens has dismissed speculation that Russell Slade is set to become the new Carlisle United manager.

On Thursday night, a hastily-deleted tweet from Slade's son, Tom, suggested his father had landed the Blues job.

But, at United's directors press conference this morning, Clibbens said: "The club has had no contact with him, and he has not been discussed by the board or as part of the process."

The tweet showed a picture of former Leyton Orient, Cardiff, Coventry and Grimsby manager Slade, and the words: "When the haters keep hating but you land another job #cufc".

Former Orient winger Dean Cox, who played under Slade, replied to the tweet offering his congratulations.

 

It comes after the 57-year-old emerged as odds-on favourite with bookmakers for the Brunton Park position.

 

Slade's last job was at the helm of Grimsby, where he was sacked in February after a run of 12 matches without a win.

He had been linked with the Blues job as long ago as 2007 before United appointed John Ward.

The latest speculation came after chief executive Clibbens defended the long process of finding a new manager as "thorough and diligent", the saga having led the club to extend its season-ticket discount deadline for a second time.

With some fans having told the Blues they are not renewing their season-tickets until a new boss is in place, United put the cut-off date back until next Friday.

 

Clibbens insisted the wait was down to being careful over the appointment.

"The process we're going through ahead of appointing the new manager is both thorough and diligent, and we understand that can be unsettling as people wait for updates," he said.

"I am sure everyone understands that we want the right person in post, and that sometimes takes time to complete."

Season-ticket sales are understood to be significantly down, with Clibbens admitting that "feedback" from fans over the manager situation had led them to extend the early-buy and renewal deadline to 5pm next Friday.

They had previously extended it to yesterday, with the original deadline typically falling in early May.

 

Clibbens said: "The feedback we've had from fans over the past few weeks is telling us that they're waiting to see who the new manager is going to be before committing to a season-ticket.

"We think that is understandable and, having listened closely to what our supporters have to say, we have extended the early buy and renewal period accordingly."

Ticket office manager Tarn Simmons said the club had received correspondence that suggested a "high number" of fans still intended to renew.

The extension of the deadline was agreed after consulting the Carlisle United Supporters’ Groups, she added.

The move came amid further speculation over previous contenders for the Brunton Park hot-seat.

Livingston manager David Hopkin dramatically quit the newly-promoted club yesterday, with the Scot having been strongly linked with League One outfit Shrewsbury after hopes of a move to Carlisle appeared to fade last weekend.

United have also not yet commented on surprise reports suggesting the former Gretna player and coach and Ilkeston, Mansfield, Lincoln and Goole manager David Holdsworth could be in line for a role in a new Blues set-up.