Welsh peer asks Lords Spiritual to pray for Everton who are heading ‘to a hotter place’
A Welsh peer has asked the Lords Spiritual to pray for his team, Everton, because they are heading “to a hotter place”.
Lord Barry Jones, a former Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, made the plea while discussing the creation of an independent regulator for English football in the House of Lords.
The Lords Spiritual are the 26 bishops of the Church of England who serve in the House of Lords. Everton are currently 18th in the Premier League, falling into the relegation zone after a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool yesterday.
Lord Jones asked the Government Minister presiding over the debate to “use his considerable influence to persuade the Lords spiritual to pray hard for my own team, Everton FC? It is in trouble and may go down to a hotter place”.
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, who is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, responded that he would try his best.
“I cannot speak for the Lords spiritual, but I know that their prayers will be ecumenically directed,” he said.
Lord Jones also asked whether any English football regulator would apply to teams in Wales.
The UK Government has said it will establish the independent regulator in football after endorsing recommendations made in the fan-led review into the men’s game.
The regulator will have the power to sanction clubs in English football that break financial and other rules.
“My Lords, the running of the football league includes Welsh clubs,” Lord Jones asked. “Under the new auspices, what do the Government intend regarding, for example, Swansea, Cardiff, Wrexham and Newport? In this sense the English football league is also the Welsh football league.”
Lord Parkinson responded: “The noble Lord makes an important point. As with the application of the review to other sports, there are lessons to be learned for football internationally and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. We are discussing this with individual teams and with sports bodies.”
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