HUNDREDS of people in Oldham 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.

As of 2pm on Wednesday, 312 people in the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency had signed the petition.

A further 313 people in Oldham West and Royton backed it.

They were among 25,699 from across the north west – which has the most signatures of England's nine regions.

The proposals – which call for an independent regulator in the English game by the end of the year – will be debated by MPs 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".

A call for action also came in an open letter signed by a number of former players and journalists, including Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Lineker.

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.

The foundation of the Super League prompted the Conservatives to bring forward a fan-led review it promised in its 2019 general election manifesto.

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

In Oldham East and Saddleworth, 352 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. And 451 people in Oldham West and Royton supported the change too.