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23 ex-players’ football reform petition signed by over 50,000 within hours

Fan groups have chosen to back 23 ex-players’ football reform petition which has been signed by thousands of supporters within a few hours.

Several former footballers have launched a parliamentary petition calling for an independent regulator in English football.

Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Lineker are among many former footballers and journalists to undersign an open letter to fans.

OPEN LETTER

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.

Your voices are more important.

Say ‘No’ to a European Super League.

Say ‘Yes’, to changing the game for the better.

Sign this petition to make your voice heard peacefully:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/584632

Signed:

Jan Aage Fjörtoft

Joel Beya, CheekySport

Jamie Carragher

John Cross

Rob Draper

Rio Ferdinand

Darren Fletcher

Tom Greatrex, FSA

Oliver Holt

Stephen Howson, Stephen Howson TV

Rory Jennings

Gary Lineker

Robbie Lyle, AFTV

Paul Machin, Redmen TV

Andy Mitten, United We Stand

Gary Neville

Chris Pajak, Redmen TV

Jamie Redknapp

Micah Richards

Spencer Owen, Hashtag United

Stretford Paddock

Henry Winter

Laura Woods

The letter says that April’s European Super League attempted breakaway demonstrates the need to reform the game’s governance.

Astonishingly, the petition was signed by more than 20,000 people in its first hour, and that figure is at nearly 50,000 by lunchtime on the same day of it being made public.

For it to be considered for a parliamentary debate, 100,000 signatures are required, and it’s well on course to do that.

Twitter users reacted as fan groups have chosen to back 23 ex-players’ football reform petition which has been signed by thousands of supporters within a few hours…

@AdHunter1984: You wonder why these clubs feel like they’re special, like they’re above the rest?? watch the coverage of WBA v Liverpool from the channel you work for. “Co-commentator” whooping at a last minute minute goal, two pundits who represented that club. 90% the analysis on one team.

@words1982: Great work Gary. I’d love you to also raise awareness on gambling addiction in the UK, its rife and the amount of advertising is obscene.

@5yntax_Err0r: Over 220’000 Newcastle United supporters signed a petition calling for greater transparency from the Premier League, we have also been complaining about the cartel of clubs (the so called big six) for over six months and its ALL fallen on deaf ears.

@BlackScarfAFC: Fairer football would be your employer not ruining the game. Rip off subscription costs and shitting over the lifeblood – matchgoing fans – by constantly moving games & kick off times… is that fair?

@neil_hannam: Hypocrisy at its finest. Bought his own clubbed back by a billionaire investor. Changed club colours and badge against fan wishes. Works for an organisation that is in large part responsible for where the game is now and who don’t care about match going fans.

@MinaminoMischi1: It’s time we as fans become as one, a united force and take on the likes of Sky and BT for affordable, fair pricing. The hypocrisy of Neville is astonishing … All about the fans right Gary?

@John_Greene10: Blackpool tried this years ago. Didn’t react the same when it was other clubs being destroyed

@zStevens27: Whilst you continue to rip us off at sky and BT do one

@joeryan01: Silence deafening on Sky mate. People are just sick if it all. Super League, grand a year for a season ticket, £100 a month for Sky & BT, the lot. You can poke your little letter.

@LFCphoto: Didn’t your lot just agree a closed shop for TV rights? And at what cost to fans? Hardly a good deal for us is it. Armchair fans & match going fans alike. Save our game, it was taken over by Sky in 1992, along with breakaway PL. Powerful want to stay in power, who’d have thought.

@ironside_no9: Gary, it does feel like we only now need fairer football because PL / Sky are impacted. But it’s lower down where fans and clubs suffer more, ie Bury, Macclesfield. Perhaps start with ridiculous decision that Sutton would need to remove 3G pitch, with financial risk, if promoted?

@ianskip71: Done. This is quite possibly the start of something, which will allow football fans to feel they are taking some element of control. A huge amount of work to be done but we should all do our bit to get behind this movement. Well done for everyone connected

Fans continued to react as 23 ex-players’ football reform petition is signed by over 50,000 people within hours…

@PeterHawthorne1: Salford buying their way up the leagues is grand though? He’s like a Robin Hood type figure but in this instance Robin Hood lives in the castle with the sheriff

@Foxy_005: I’ve signed this as I believe it would benefit #nufc in their fight against the EPL, shame we had to wait until the “top 6” fell into trouble before anyone started to care

@RBoyce1985: Fairer football for all, like what you’re doing with Salford?

@lpeveritt: “Destroying the concept of sporting merit and open competition” – how is this any different to buying your way up the lower leagues with Salford supported by a billionaire backer?

@KnightTangerine: 3 years ago we asked for this and the rest of Football ignored us because it ‘wasn’t their club’ We hope you have more success and Governments response is more favourable now it affects ‘big clubs’

@AshJohnson20: They’ll end up receiving bribes like the rest of the corrupt authorities in government/football, but it’s worth a try

@james_sturdy: If there is one thing that brings separate football fans together, especially in recent times. It’s @GNev2 speaking absolute facts about the current state of the game. Sign it.

@pearl_andrew: Give them the power to stop broadcasters changing kick off times, cap the amount charged by tv companies and make 40% of games free to air and then we can start to see how supportive you all are.

@Duncoin: Well Garry, if you’d all have supported the Blackpool Supporters Trust initiative asking for exactly the same thing 5 years ago we might have got somewhere but then again it was only little Blackpool not the Man U’s or Liverpool’s of this world.

@mk67cfc: You could take this bloke seriously if we wasn’t part of the problem. Financially doping a club from Tier 8 to Tier 4. Paying £6k a week in League 2 and a wage bill near £3m!

@Leon28215144: The problem is how do you regulate a independent body these days , always someone bribed or on the take in some shape or form ⚽️ it’s a difficult one to police 👮‍♀️

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