Gary Neville, Gary Lineker and Rio Ferdinand are leading a petition calling for an independent regulator for football to prevent another attempt at a European Super League.
Six Premier League teams were involved in the breakaway ESL, which crumbled in less than 48 hours after a strong backlash from supporters, including protests outside stadiums.
In a bid to guard against a repeat, former England internationals Neville, Lineker and Ferdinand, along with a number of other media figures and ex-footballers, have put their names to an open letter, along with a petition to demand the creation of a new football regulatory body.
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The group have said it is “time to act” and have urged the public to sign a UK government petition.
"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," says the letter.
"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.
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"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 coordinated 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."
After launching on Monday morning, the petition soon passed the mark of 10,000 signatures needed for a government response. If it reaches 1000,000 then it will be considered for debate in parliament.
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Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said at the weekend that the government is considering an independent regulator.
"Clearly, a regulator will be part of the mix but I can’t pre-empt what will be the recommendations," said Huddleston, whose predecessor Tracey Crouch is set to deliver a fan-led review of the governance of the game.
"We’ve launched the review and I’m constantly engaging with Tracey. It’s pretty broad and a regulator is being proposed by some, being completely hated by others, and it's going to be part of the mix."
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