Gary Neville leading a campaign to protect the integrity of the English football system by establishing a new independent regulator so that a European Super League cannot be created again in secret.
A joint movement led by former Manchester United players Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand and Jamie Carragher has been announced. A petition has called for “fairer football for all”.
Following tweets from Neville, Lineker, and others within the football media, the petition gained the support of tens of thousands of people within an hour.
UK government must consider a petition after collecting 100,000 signatures for debate in parliament.
The petition states: “The Government should use the recently established fan-led review of football to introduce an Independent Football Regulator in England to put fans back at the heart of our national game.”
The campaign includes former professionals such as Micah Richards, Darren Fletcher and Jamie Redknapp, as well as journalists and media personalities.
The open letter reads:
“As football fans, we were appalled by the attempt to set up a European Super League.
“It was a direct threat to the integrity of the game; destroying the concept of sporting merit and open competition.
“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.
“It is time to act. We support:
Government legislation to block any Premier League clubs attempting to abandon the country’s football pyramid.
The appointment of an Independent Football Regulator.
“This regulatory body would have a duty to represent the interests of supporters, protect against bad practices, adjudicate as the overarching body on matters involving the FA, Premier League and EFL and, generally, seek to prioritise the wider good of the game, rather than allow clubs to act solely in their own self-interests.
“We, the undersigned, have a voice in the media. We want your voices to join with ours…
Sign this petition to make your voice heard peacefully.”