Hundreds in South Tyneside back football reform debate

Football fans' petitionFootball fans' petition
Football fans' petition
More than 400 football fans in South Tyneside have helped trigger a Parliamentary debate over the introduction of an independent regulator for the game.

A petition, sparked by controversial plans for a European Super League in April, has been backed by more than 140,000 fans nationally, alongside a number of high-profile former players, including Gary Neville and Gary Lineker.

As of 2pm on Wednesday June 9, 187 people in the South Shields Parliamentary constituency and 283 in Jarrow had signed the petition.

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The proposals call for an independent regulator in the English game by the end of the year and will be debated in Westminster on Monday, June 14.

The petition's creator said a regulator would "safeguard the game" from another Super League breakaway attempt or other efforts to "put money ahead of fans".

Fair Game, a new coalition of football clubs calling for reform of the sport's governance, said the time for an independent regulator has come.

Niall Couper, director of the organisation, said: "Some owners are playing Russian roulette with the futures of their clubs with scant regards for the communities and traditions that they are putting at risk.

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"We need an independent regulator to finally sort it out and make our national game fit for purpose and something that our communities can be proud of."

A spokesman for The Football Supporters Association said: "We'd encourage everyone to contact their MP and ask that they support fans in our calls to fix football.

"Supporters want independent regulation, wealth redistribution and for the fan voice to be at the heart of all clubs."