Ebac Northern League club Celtic Nation are facing a mass exodus of players as a question mark continues to hang over the…..
….future of manager Willie McStay.
Central defender Paul Johnson became the latest departure after he quit to join Spennymoor Town – the team that pipped them for promotion last season.
Captain and 29-goal top scorer Colin McMenamin has joined Scottish League One side Stenhousemuir as player-coach, while striker Micky Rae and midfielder Daniel Moore have joined their Northern League rivals Shildon and supporters’ player of the year Willie Gibson is also set to leave.
Striker Martyn Coleman has turned his back on the club in favour of joining Workington, while goalkeeping coach Carl King has also joined Spennymoor.
There is also uncertainty over the future of McStay, who led the club to runners-up spot after replacing Mick Wadsworth in the hot-seat in September following a disappointing start to the season.
Players have privately admitted to The Cumberland News that they are still in the dark about the direction of the club for next season.
It comes amid speculation that the Carlisle club – bankrolled by USA-based businessman Frank Lynch – is preparing to massively slash its budget for next season while still hoping to compete with established Northern League clubs.
Nation became one of the most talked-about clubs last season after appointing Scottish Cup-winning former Celtic star McStay and signing former professional players, including Carlisle United legend Peter Murphy.
After attracting only around 40 fans to home games the previous season, they smashed the 1,000-crowd barrier when they hosted Spennymoor in March.
But now the team that pushed Spennymoor to their final game of the season and lifted the Cumberland Cup for the first time looks like being broken up.
Chairman Steve Skinner this week denied the club is in crisis and The Cumberland News has been told to expect a major announcement next week.
Skinner refused to comment on McStay’s future or whether other key players would re-sign for the club next season and denied the club was in crisis.
Skinner said: “I can guarantee 100 per cent that there are no financial issues with the club.
“Frank Lynch is still our main sponsor and the club will next season be doing what it tried to do last season and gaining promotion out of the Northern League, which is very difficult.”