Fans of English Football League Two side Carlisle United were excited when the club announced that they were in talks with a billionaire overseas investor last May.
Maybe someone like the Glazers at Old Trafford or Vincent Tan at Cardiff City would come in and provide the cash to rocket them up into the heights of the Premier League.
But as the weeks turned to months, and now into over a year, the Brunton Park side’s followers’ optimism has turned into blunt cynicism as the potential backer’s identity remains hidden by a reputed confidentiality clause.
It’s not the first time that Carlisle has been subject to take-over speculations.
The colourful Michael Knighton took over the Cumbrians in 1992 after his failed £20 million bid to buy Manchester United and was almost duped by a bid to buy a stake in the club by Scotsman Stephen Brown in 2001 – who turned out to be a broke former curry house barman in an episode reminiscent of kid’s cartoon Scooby Doo.
But we’re always on the ball when it comes to investigative journalism at CLICKON and we’ve drawn up a short-list of potential candidates for the Blues’ mystery money man.
1 – Hank Scorpio
The wealthy bearded boss of Globex bought Homer Simpson the Denver Broncos as a gift for helping out on one of his diabolical projects. Maybe he fancies switching his interests to soccer.
2 – Dr Evil
Better known for his love of ‘frickin’ lazers’, the Austin Powers villain could fancy injecting some cash into the English lower-League game. And throwing dubious referees to the sharks.
3 – White Goodman
Globo-Gym’s head honcho looks a bit like former chairman Knighton. The American has money to burn and could turn around United’s underdog status.
Forget Dodgeball, White – soccer’s where the action is at!
4 – Kim Jong-un
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is rarely seen in public and would have his reasons for keeping his identity secret. Maybe the club have to write to him as they don’t have his mobile number. Mind, poor old Hughie McIlmoyle’s bronze outside the ground would probably have to go, to be replaced by one of the leader. And the players wouldn’t dare risk missing a penalty!
5 – Plankton
If you’ve got young children, you’ll be familiar with the cartoon villain from Spongebob. Again, and again, and again. Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Carlisle United’s mystery investor. Probably. Plankton may be sick of trying to steal the formula for Krabby Patties and fancies turning his attentions to the beautiful game. Chum buckets all round at half time.
But until the International man of Mystery’s cheque book arrives, manager Keith Curle’s side will have to continue slugging it out with the likes of Hartlepool United and Accrington Stanley.