MP COLUMN: Football is for the people

The news that six premier league teams are to be founding members of a proposed European ‘Super League’ is extremely worrying for the future of our beautiful game.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 7:00 am
Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck.

These football clubs have their roots in working class communities who forged together over a shared love of the game and fair competition.

Over the years this footballing heritage has been decimated by greedy corporate billionaires, pricing fans out the game with extortionate ticket prices and streaming costs.

This latest development is yet another acceleration of the game being taken away from the supporters, without whom, the game is nothing.

Football is for the people. The Labour manifesto in 2019 recognised this, promising supporters’ powers to appoint club directors, the power for supporters trust to purchase shares when clubs changed hands bringing the club back under control of the fans and ensuring at least 5 per cent of TV income was fed into grassroots football.

Football clubs are often part of the crucial fabric of communities, binding us together in participation and support.

In recent years, the divide between fans and the club is growing more and more thanks to greedy owners more interested in profit than the soul of the game.

The plans laid out in Labour’s manifesto two years ago must be implemented immediately to stop the game slipping further away.

In the meantime, I urge everyone to get down to your local volunteer-run football clubs, where those involved do it for the love of the game and are desperate for your support.

Ian Lavery, Wansbeck MP