Why this ex-Sunderland midfielder has decided to announce his shock retirement

Former Sunderland midfielder Chris Lumsdon has revealed why he walked away from a takeover of League Two side Carlisle United.

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 4:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 6:00 pm

Lumsdon, former non-league man Steve Skinner and a consortium of local businessmen announced their intentions last week, claiming they wished to help the club – who are struggling at the wrong end of the fourth tier.

But the former Black Cat has now confirmed that they have withdran from negotiations after they failed to get answers from clothing firm Edinburgh Woollen Mill, who provided Carlisle with financial backing.

“Last night our group took the decision to end our approach to Carlisle United,” said Lumsdon, speaking to the News & Star.

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Ex-Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner
Ex-Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner

“We were told that one of the people on Edinburgh Woollen Mill's side of things would call us yesterday, having expressed that we just needed a couple of answers on things to progress our plan.

“When that call was made we weren’t given the definitive yes or no on what we were asking, but we were told that it was unlikely we would get the answers any time soon.

“So we decided, instead of continuing to work away at it and pour our energies into it, keeping supporters wondering and hanging on for news – whether they liked the idea of what was happening or not – to walk away.”

Meanwhile, ex-Sunderland man Craig Gardner has announced that he is set to retire from football at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old will begin in a new coaching role alongside his playing capacities at Birmingham City this season, before reverting to the role of first team coach from the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

And Gardner – who has appeared just once for the Blues this term – is relishing his new assignment.

"You can see over the past four or five months what the club wants to do," he said.

"I have enjoyed my career, every bit of it. Now I want the players to enjoy theirs. I will give every single thing I can to help them do that, help them improve and get this club back where we should be."