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TIME FOR CHANGE: Signatures pass 130,000 as Neville calls for reform

 

More than 130,000 people have signed a parliamentary petition, spearheaded by ex-pros like Gary Neville, calling for an independent regulator in English football.

It took less than 24 hours for the petition to reach the six figure requirement needed for its contents to be considered for parliamentary debate.

Neville was joined by 22 other ex-players and journalists, including Jamie Carragher, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Lineker, in undersigning a letter to football fans to convince them to sign the petition.

The response from those within the game comes as the backlash against April’s failed European Super League plans continues.

 

An Open Letter

 

Neville’s open letter directly called for more action and welcomed government intervention: “As football fans, we were appalled by the attempt to set up a European Super League,” the letter began.

“Supporters came together with one voice to oppose the cynical power-grab by a group of wealthy owners. The furious protests were heard and the breakaway fell apart.

“Now we must make sure this never happens again. Without swift and direct intervention, the return of a European Super League will be a constant threat.

“We welcome the fan-led Government review of the game and hope it leads to lasting change on an array of important concerns; including co-ordinated strategies to deal with racism, supporters’ representation within clubs, LGBTQ issues, ticket costs and the distribution of income. All of those aims can be realised if we take decisive action now.

“We, the undersigned, have a voice in the media. We want your voices to join with ours. Your voices are more important. Say ‘No’ to a European Super League. Say ‘Yes’, to changing the game for the better.”

 

Breakdown of Trust

 

Following the European Super League failure, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters admitted there has been a breakdown of trust and relations between the six clubs involved and the rest of the division.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Masters said: “"I don't think we should be averse to change in the regulatory environment around football but I don't think that an independent regulator is the answer to the question.

"I would defend the Premier League's role as regulator of its clubs over the course of the last 30 years. Clearly we've had some problems over the last 18 months but so has every industry sector.

"I don't think an independent regulator is required, but that's not to say that we won't fully co-operate with Tracey Crouch's review.”


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