News & Star column 25.02.21

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Fans may be banned from Brunton Park but some still haven’t missed a Blues game all season – thanks to the match streaming service, iFollow.

I bet it is a long time since so many have been able to say that.

United have been one of the best followed teams in League Two raising the club £180,000 from their first 25 League games.

Although well short of their regular match day income it is a figure not to be sniffed at.

Our biggest following so far came earlier this month away to Harrogate when we had 1798 paying subscribers. A few days later 1421 paid to watch the match at Salford.

It’s a great way for fans to show their support and with £8 of the £10 match fee going to the club it has provided a crucial source of revenue during the pandemic.

With supporters unlikely to be allowed back into stadiums this season the Blues will be hoping they can build further on iFollow’s success – hopefully helped by a promotion charge.

However, what happens when fans are allowed to return?

CUOSC have always opposed the televising of games at 3pm on a Saturday believing it would discourage people from attending Brunton Park in person.

But iFollow may mean the genie is out of the box.

The streaming service would bring in extra income from supporters that cannot get to the game for whatever reason. And away matches, in particular, could be popular with time and expense sometimes making it impossible for fans to travel.

These are questions for another day but, in the meantime, back the Blues by supporting them on iFollow against Oldham at Brunton Park on Saturday (3pm).

We will be looking to get back to winning ways after a narrow 3-2 defeat against promotion rivals Tranmere in midweek.

The game was played in atrocious conditions but there was no shortage of excitement and the Blues were unlucky to come away with nothing from a hard fought battle.

CUOSC along with Carlisle United Supporters Group (CUSG) are looking to engage with supporters to find out their views on what sort of catering facilities they would like to see at Brunton Park next season.

The club are reviewing their options for the 2021/22 season and are keen to get feedback from fans.