Carlisle in need of new owners

Friday 17th May 2013 10:21

Carlisle: Struggling to meet fans' expectations

Carlisle: Struggling to meet fans' expectations

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Carlisle's FanZone blogger Ryan Waugh questions whether the club's owners are capable of delivering a new stadium and Championship football.

Another season has departed us and already plans are being cemented for the 2013-2014 League One campaign.

The annual cull has materialised with seven players departing the Blues this May and fresh contracts offered to five current members of last season's mid-table finishers.

However, even though the rebuilding job for next term has already begun in earnest, the main conundrum to the supporters is what is going on with the new stadium plans?

It was many moons ago now that the club first came out with plans for a 12,000, all-seater capacity stadium in the north of the city.

Optimism

At first, supporters alike were pretty keen on the idea and optimism filtered around the terraces about a new era possibly beginning with the move away from the rickety old Brunton Park.

A couple of years later and things have never taken much more than one step forward and two steps back.

The club have bickered with the city council about moving to the Kingstown area of the city and building a new stadium in such an area would be seen as problematic for the council.

Fans were initially in favour of the move and a new beginning but now it seems the fans are more split about leaving the famous Brunton Park, which is, after all, plonked near the city centre and ideal for most people to reach.

So, it seems for the time being we are staying at our current abode until notified otherwise.

However, is there a hidden agenda behind why the club are not making tracks to start the building work for the new stadium? We know the council are reluctant to let the club build on the proposed site at the Kingstown area of the city, but is this the real issue here?

Ambition

We are well aware the club are struggling financially but maybe the core reason is that the directors really don't have that drive, power and ambition to drive this project through to completion.

Many murmurings in the city suggest that the club has become stale, that we have reached our limit in terms of progress both on and off the field. The signs are pretty ominous with the crowds depleting season upon season and now becoming a big worry.

If this is the case, I guess the same can be said for the current Blue Yonder project.

The club has done well in recent times: at the end of season 2003-2004, we were facing a spell in non-league football for the first time in our history yet the next season we had managed the near unthinkable and gained promotion back to the Football League at the first attempt - something only we and Shrewsbury Town have accomplished this Millennium.

Expectations

The following season was supposedly about staying up and building for the future but we went a couple of steps further and won the League Two title.

After a fair few seasons in English football's third tier, we are now a mid-table League One club.

There is no shame in this, but the expectation levels have risen considerably with the success the club achieved in such short time.

My intuition is that the club has achieved too much in such a short time frame and this has brought some drawbacks.

I feel for the club to realistically reach the promised land of the Championship with the new stadium intact and have the belief we could compete and survive in the second tier of the English pyramid, we would need new ideas, fresh investment and somebody with the power to make this all a reality.

Anything is possible in life, so let's wait and see if the reality can ever be fulfilled.