Football Spectator Attendance: Covid-19 — [Graham Stringer in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:55 pm on 9th November 2020.

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Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North 5:55 pm, 9th November 2020

And the working woman’s game; that is what it has evolved to be, over time. I am very lucky to have in my constituency Port Vale Ladies and Stoke City Ladies, who are incredible ambassadors for the local community and for local girls’ sports. I am even prouder to have recently visited Milton United Ladies, to support what they are doing there. Football is a game for everyone. It is no longer the game of 50 years ago; it allows everyone to come together, celebrate and rejoice.

I urge the Minister to ensure that there is an announcement on 2 December. As I said, Port Vale football club has delivered 170,000 meals across the city of Stoke-on-Trent. With the Hubb Foundation, it co-runs a child holiday hunger support group that offers activities and mental and physical stimulation, as well as a hot meal during the holiday period. That organisation has helped people beyond the city boundaries in Kidsgrove, Talke and Staffordshire Moorlands, as my right hon. Friend Karen Bradley said. It has poured its heart and soul into the community. It is time we repaid it for everything it has sacrificed.

As the hon. Member for Wirral South said, that means players calling up season ticket holders. It means thanking the staff who were furloughed and who volunteered their time to deliver food parcels. It means helping the community groups that work with the football club to provide holiday activities and engagement activities with young people across the city. We need fans back in the stadium. On 2 December, I expect to hear an announcement; otherwise, I will be a pretty stroppy Back Bencher—I make that very clear.

Before I sit down, I will say it one more time: up the Vale.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
has considered e-petition 552036, relating to spectator attendance at football matches during Covid-19.

Sitting suspended.