Everton finally signed Carlisle defender Jarrad Branthwaite last night for a fee of £1 million, according to the Daily Mail.
The seventeen-year-old has signed a two and half-year contract and will join up with the Toffees Under-23s.
The deal was eventually finalised after a previous bid of £500,000 was rejected by the Cumbrians, and the youngster was reportedly in the stands to watch Everton Under-23s draw 3-3 with Arsenal on Monday night.
Carlisle fans were resigned to losing the teenager after reports first emerged a host of scouts were monitoring his progress, and most supporters were willing to wish him the best of luck with no hard feelings when they took to social media to react to the news.
However, it is apparent the disconnect between the club’s ownership and fanbase is widening. Many fans took issue with the club describing the fee as substantial rather than giving full disclosure and expressed concern that little or none of the money will be reinvested in a team that is struggling at the wrong end of League Two.
The situation wasn’t helped by the club telling fans the reason Branthwaite was missing for Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat by Plymouth was illness and fans believed this was just another example of poor communication from the club.
It will be a fascinating few weeks at Brunton Park. If the club fails to strengthen the squad with the Branthwaite money, the toxic atmosphere around the club may well become unbearable for the owners.
Here is a selection of responses to the club announcing the transfer on Twitter.
We all knew this was coming and it would be an undisclosed fee , good look to the lad better off away from this sinking ship !
— Laura cufc (@laurabarr38) January 13, 2020
Best thing he could of done. Away from this embarrassment of a football club and to a properly ran outfit not like the clowns that run us. No doubt the money will be pocketed and we will be left with 2 pathetic strikers and a defence who cant defend. Joke club
— Lee Simpson (@aladcalledsimmy) January 13, 2020
A packet of XL crisps and a Bovril! Substantial? What a load of drivel
— Jonathan Ward (@JLWard1990) January 13, 2020
Don’t hide the amount from fans by just saying ‘substantial fee’ what is it?
Will it be used to make the club a more attractive ownership takeover?
Will it be used to reinvest in the staff?
Will it be used to fix a leak on a roof?
Will it never be used for anything?
— Steven Holmes (@ste08cufc) January 13, 2020
Shock no fee announced. Right in the board’s pocket.
— Alex. (@Alex_C3789) January 13, 2020
What's a substantial fee To Carlisle ? 20 quid
— craig johno (@cjohno1001) January 13, 2020
Good on him getting away from this sinking ship
— Ryan Stubbs (@RyanStubbs48) January 13, 2020
Haha you’re living in cuckoo land pal. They’ll keep it for themselves and rely on loans
— Chris Eden (@carlisledrummer) January 14, 2020
Well well well and here is us being told JB is I'll or is it a thigh strain? Fans just wish our club could be sincere with us & treat us like the stakeholders we are.Good luck to Jarrad. Now let's see a lump of this fee immediately spent on a 2yr contract for a proven striker x2.
— andy gilbertson (@Andythehood) January 13, 2020