A Cumbrian MP has urged the Government to introduce new laws to give football fans the power to stop their club joining the proposed European Super League.
Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs, including six of England’s top flight teams – Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea Tottenham and Manchester City – have announced they have agreed to set up the new midweek competition, the European Super League, which would rival the UEFA Champions League.
The proposal has been met with widespread condemnation from fans, politicians and former players.
Tim Farron, who represents Westmorland and Lonsdale, stood in the House of Commons yesterday and asked Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to intercede.
The Government has announced a fan-led review into football following the decision by the clubs.
Speaking during a statement in Parliament on the European Super League proposal, Mr Farron said: “This is the most devastating attack on our national game in its long and proud history.
“A shameless, arrogant and desperate elite are seeking to make millions at the expense of the millions of us who love the game and love our club.
“I thought the Secretary of State’s statement contained some rhetoric which I found good and urgent and it contained detail that was ponderous and thin
“So as well as a lengthy review, will the Secretary of State fast track legislation that would force any club seeking to break away and join a new league to first ballot their fans and be mandated to abide by the outcome of that ballot.
“And will he ensure that this legislation is retrospectively active from the beginning of the current football season?
“Those who wish to steal and destroy the game must be stopped, English football must be saved and this Parliament has the power to do it – not just review it.”
In response, Mr Dowden said: “I can reassure the honourable gentleman that we will be doing three things.
“The first thing is that we are backing the actions by the football governing authorities.
“At the same time we are looking at all options, and indeed he raised some further important options as to what we should do.
“We will proceed at the fastest pace possible that is required to deliver that.
“And thirdly, this demonstrates again the need for governance reform, looking at finance, looking at whether there needs to be an independent regulator – all of these things will now be examined.”