Reading FC has taken centre stage in a debate over club ownership by top national politicians.

Matt Rodda, the Labour MP for Reading East, introduced a debate in parliament over the regulation of football club ownership amid the turmoil at Reading FC.

The club has been undergoing issues off the pitch as failed payments have led to league points deductions, with Reading FC ultimately being relegated from its perch in the Championship and languishing at the bottom of League One.

The debate in Parliament was called by Mr Rodda after it was announced that the government is seeking to introduce a new football regulator law which featured in the King’s Speech by Charles III on Tuesday, November 7.

His questions were answered by Sir John Whittingdale, a minister at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Mr Rodda said: “It is clear to us all that there is an ownership problem in English football.

“I ask the Minister to reassure fans, players, staff and local communities.

“I welcome the Government’s announcement that they plan to bring forward a Bill to regulate football. That is an important step.

“I call on the Government to live up to that promise. Ministers must ensure that the Bill includes proper powers for the regulator and, crucially, that there is enough parliamentary time for the Bill in the last months before a general election.

“Above all, the Government need to show us that they have the determination to press forward with what they have promised.

“I know my hon. Friend the shadow Minister [Stephanie Peacock, the Labour MP for Barnsley] is willing to work with them, as are we MPs, fans and the whole football community.

“I hope the Minister will confirm that the Government are serious and will commit to them taking this vital work forward as a matter of urgency.”

Mr Rodda also mentioned the Reading councillors who took part in the Sell Before We Dai march on Saturday, October 28, which was attended by thousands of fans.

It was also attended by councillors Jason Brock (Labour, Southcote) the leader of the council, John Ennis (Labour, Southcote) a lifelong Reading FC fan, Micky Leng (Labour, Whitley) and Adele Barnett-Ward, lead councillor for leisure.

Sir John, the Conservative MP for Maldon, Essex, then answered that the government will introduce a football governance Bill to establish an independent football regulator, which would have powers to help the prevent precipitous situation Reading FC finds itself in.

Addressing the situation in Reading in particular, Sir John said: “The honourable Gentleman [Mr Rodda] has talked about his own local club, steeped in the fabric of its community.

“It has been relegated, suffered sporting sanctions and faced financial penalties because of reckless decisions made by owners and terrible mismanagement.

“We have also heard about poor and non-existent governance practices, with fans being prevented from influencing key decisions that affect them and having to petition local councils, in some cases to protect stadiums.

“All such incidents threaten the long-term health and sustainability of all clubs, not just Reading.”

Sir John said that the proposed new regulator will create strengthened owners and directors tests in an effort to ensure clubs have financial stability.

He added that the government is “committed to breaking this cycle of inappropriate ownership, financial instability and poor governance practices.”

The debate was held on Wednesday, November 8.

A transcript and video recording of the debate can be found online.