On Monday I posed the question ‘Should Newcastle invite Carlisle United to play at St James Park?
The reaction from Newcastle United supporters was overwhelmingly in the positive, with people strongly feeling it would be very much the right thing for Mike Ashley to do.
Carlisle United’s Brunton Park is no stranger to the dangers of flooding but the scale of what has hit the whole of Cumbria, thanks to Storm Desmond, is on a whole new level.
As you can see from the image above, it looks like it will be some time before any football is played at Brunton Park again.
Carlisle’s next fixture at Brunton Park was scheduled to be played on Saturday 19 December, the same day Newcastle host Aston Villa.
Preston have stepped in and offered their stadium and so Deepdale will host Carlisle v Notts County a week on Saturday (19 December).
However, Carisle’s following home match is due to take place on Monday 28 December against Hartlepool, but Preston are also at home that day.
Of course with it being a bit of a local derby and Newcastle kind of in the middle of the two clubs, St James Park could be a perfect setting for a Carlisle v Hartlepool clash, with some media reports claiming that this is being looked at as a possibility.
Newcastle are away at West Brom that day and so no clash with any NUFC home game.
The following quotes were published on the Carlisle website and you’d like to think that Newcastle United are one of those who have left Carlisle feeling ‘humbled and overwhelmed’ because of an offer to help in any way…
Preston North End chief executive John Kay:
“As a Club we are delighted to be able to assist. We are all members of the same football family and in what has been a difficult time for the people of Lancashire, Cumbria and the community of Carlisle in particular, the owner and those involved day to day at Deepdale felt we should do everything we could to get the game played.”
Carlisle United’s club secretary Sarah McKnight:
“The number of offers of help from clubs at every level of the football pyramid has been humbling and overwhelming. Preston North End were in contact with us as early as Sunday night and Notts County have been extremely understanding every step of the way. We would also like to thank the Football League for their advice and assistance, and we will now look to finalise the details as quickly as possible.”
When you consider that we have just recently had a load of huge rugby players stomping around St James Park, it should be a no-brainer for Newcastle to at least make the offer.