MORE than 300 people in Keighley have signed a petition calling for the Government to let football fans back into stadiums.

Across the UK, almost 200,000 fans have backed the idea, forcing a parliamentary debate to take place on the issue in the coming weeks.

As of Friday, 319 people in the Keighley parliamentary constituency had backed the petition. Across Bradford district's five constituencies, the total was 1,787.

The petition, on Parliament’s website, will be debated by MPs on November 9.

Petition creator Ashley Greenwood says football is a “powerful tool” that brings a range of economic and social benefits.

He added: “Football can be associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication across the community.

“I ask for the support of this petition as I fear that smaller clubs in particular will go out of business leading to a devastating effect on people.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden admits there is a growing sense of frustration at the ban on live crowds at sporting events, but insists there can be no change until the spread of coronavirus is curbed.

Speaking at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, Mr Dowden said: "There is very clear evidence from the scientific community that at this stage of the disease, with rapidly rising infections, we should be imposing restrictions – which we are – not further easements.

“We are doing things that are positively hateful, but the reason we are doing it is to secure public safety.”

The Premier League says English football loses £100 million every month without spectators, while the EFL said it lost £50m in revenue in 2019-20 and stands to lose a further £200m if fans do not return in 2020-21.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters questioned why football stadiums remain closed, but indoor arts and music events are still taking place.

He has backed the petition.