ALMOST 200 people in Maldon have helped trigger an upcoming Parliamentary debate over the introduction of an independent regulator for football.

A petition, sparked by controversial plans for a European Super League which emerged in April, has been backed by more than 140,000 fans across the UK, alongside a number of high-profile former players, including Gary Neville and Gary Lineker.

By last Wednesday, 195 people in the Maldon constituency had signed the petition.

The proposals call for an independent regulator in the English game by the end of the year and will be debated by MPs in Westminster on Monday.

The petition's creator said a regulator would "safeguard our beautiful game" from another Super League breakaway attempt – which involved six of the biggest English sides – or other efforts to "put money ahead of fans".

Fair Game, a new collection of football clubs calling for reform of the sport's governance, said the time for an independent regulator has come and that the Government should not waste this opportunity.

Supporters want independent regulation, wealth redistribution and for the fan voice to be at the heart of all clubs

Director Niall Couper said: "Some owners are playing Russian roulette with the futures of their clubs with scant regards for the communities and traditions that they are putting at risk.

"Football has had decades to get it right and failed to deliver.

"We need an independent regulator to finally sort it out and make our national game fit for purpose and something that our communities can be proud of."

The Football Supporters Association said the debate will keep up the pressure for the reform of how football is run, which the current fan-led review is considering.

A spokesman for the FSA added: "We'd encourage everyone to contact their MP and ask that they support fans in our calls to fix football."

"Supporters want independent regulation, wealth redistribution and for the fan voice to be at the heart of all clubs."

A second petition, which is calling for increased fan ownership of English teams, will also be debated in Parliament on June 14.

In Maldon, 95 people backed a change in the law which would follow the German Bundesliga model and force professional clubs to give at least 51 per cent ownership to fans.