At least we ain't Carlisle......

Last updated : 10 April 2002 By Luke Thornhill
The Brunton Park outfit have had a season of unexpected success on the field, well they're not relying on an on loan goalkeeper to score for them four in stoppage time of their final game this season at any rate.

There also seemed to be some light at the end of the tunnel for beleagured football fans in the Border City, with news that Irish businessman John Courtenay was in the frame to buy the club from Michael Knighton - public enemy number one for many in Cumbria.

So all looked rosy for the club, new owner and improving performances on the pitch.

However it has all gone tits up over recent weeks as the takeover has stalled, Courtenay stated that he would walk away from the club, along with manager Roddy Collins, if the deal is not completed by tomorrow - with Knighton apparently to blame for the delay.

However, Collins was sensationally sacked on Saturday evening as a direct result of the threat.

He was sacked by Mark Knighton. Michael Knighton is actually banned from being director of a company in this country, so his son Mark sits on the board in his place and responded to the threats against his father.

Knighton Senior has claimed, through lawyers, that Courtenay does not possess the funds to complete the takeover.

Courtenay however owns the UMBRO franchise in Ireland, and has said that he will immediately pay off loans and provide money to bring in players.

He has said that he will talk to a second divsion club, believed to be Bury, about buying them if Knighton doesn't stop playing games.

Mark has also become embroiled in a row with Carlisle's MP Eric Martlew, who urged the Knighton family to get out of the club through the City's daily nespaper the News And Star.

“Martlew does not know the first thing about the Industry, I am astonished how he can make such statements when he has not been near the Football Club nor its Directors," said Knighton Junior.

Presumably Mark also believes the several thousand fans who also want the pair out of the club do not know the first thing about the industry.

It is not the first time Collins has parted company with the club, earlier in the season he quit ahead of the trip to Lincoln City citing the takeover delay as the reason, before being convinced to stay and promptly driving down to take charge of his side at Sincil Bank - they promptly lost 3-1.

Two of the three coaches at the club have quit in protest at Collin's sacking, as has their chief scout - leaving just one full time coach at the club - and he is now manager!

York City visit Warwick Road tonight hoping to take advantage of the situation, hopes Knighton bows to the pressure and lets the fans of Carlisle United get the football team which they deserve.

(Note: as I live in Carlisle, if any fans wish to buy me a pie or a pint I can usually be found in the East stand or terrace behind the goal when I am not following United)

For all the latest on the Cumbrians, check out CUFC Online.