Bury owner Steve Dale says club has been sold as EFL considers deadline extension

All six of Bury’s scheduled fixtures this season have been suspended by the EFL

Bury are waiting to hear if a last-ditch offer to buy the League One club will save them from being expelled from the English Football League.

Owner Steve Dale told BBC Radio Manchester he had agreed a deal with analytics company C&N Sporting Risk, led by Henry Newman and Rory Campbell.

The EFL said it had been notified of an offer being accepted by Dale.

Bury had been given until 23:59 BST on Friday to prove their financial viability.

The EFL is now considering an extension to the deadline.

“We are currently in discussions with the potential purchaser and await information to allow the board to consider a request for an extension to Friday’s deadline,” said an EFL spokesperson.

Bury needed to show they could pay off creditors and had funding to complete the season, or risk expulsion from the EFL.

The EFL’s previous update, issued at 17:00 BST on Friday, said “limited progress” had been made by Dale in either providing the evidence they required or finding a new owner, but it would “keep working to find a resolution”.

‘Bury ought to have a viable long-term future’

In a statement given to PA Media, Newman and Campbell said: “We can confirm that over the past 10 weeks we have been in discussions with Bury FC, the EFL and others with a view to putting forward a proposal to buy the club.

“It is a very complicated scenario and there remain a number of outstanding legal and other issues that have to be addressed.

“Our background is in football and data analytics and it should therefore not be surprising that we are taking a very detailed forensic look at the realities of Bury FC’s finances.

“A club like Bury ought to have a viable long-term future even if the short-term future is clearly very challenging. To that end we have been in discussions with the EFL about an extension so that we can continue to explore the prospects for a purchase.”

The club is facing potential expulsion from the Football League

Dale told the BBC earlier on Friday that he had found a “prospective buyer” who was “waiting for the EFL to come back to him on a few points”.

He carried out numerous media interviews throughout the day and had earlier asked members of the public to pledge money to help “save a football club”.

‘A massive step forward’

EFL chief executive Debbie Jevans said earlier this week that a short extension to the deadline may be granted if a buyer could be found.

And Bury North MP James Frith, who had earlier claimed a bidder he had been liaising with was going to submit the relevant documentation to the EFL on Friday, said Dale’s announcement was a “massive step forward”.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “This is not over the line fully, there are a lot of questions to be answered about the complexity of the financial situation, but it is their (Newman and Campbell) bid that Dale is referencing.

“I don’t think the EFL have any reason now not to extend the deadline.

“It is a time to breathe a sigh of relief, but it’s not 100% due diligence watertight.”

The Shakers have had their first five league games of the season suspended by the EFL and they were also withdrawn from the Carabao Cup.

No club has been removed from the EFL since Maidstone were liquidated in 1992.


Boris Johnson and Donald Trump speak ahead of G7 meeting

Composite image of Boris Johnson and Donald TrumpImage copyright Getty Images

Boris Johnson has spoken to US President Donald Trump ahead of meeting him on Sunday for the first time since becoming prime minister.

The leaders, who will meet at the G7 summit in France, discussed “foreign policy issues and global trade” in a phone call on Friday evening.

No 10 said they “looked forward to speaking further” at the summit.

Mr Trump has consistently praised Mr Johnson, and predicted a speedy US-UK trade deal after Brexit.

A UK government spokesman said: “Of course we want to move quickly, but we want to get the right deal that works for both sides.”

The PM will also meet European Council President Donald Tusk.

Mr Johnson has had a hectic week of diplomacy, visiting Paris and Berlin in an effort to persuade the EU to amend the withdrawal agreement it reached with his predecessor Theresa May.

The G7 summit in Biarritz – a get together of most of the leaders of the world’s largest economies – comes with just over two months until the Brexit deadline of 31 October.

Mr Johnson says the UK will leave the EU by then, whether or not the government reaches a deal to replace Mrs May’s deal – which was rejected by Parliament.

He wants to renegotiate the backstop – part of the agreement which aims to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit – but the EU has ruled this out.

Earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the onus was on the UK to find a workable alternative plan.

Mr Johnson will meet Mr Trump for one-on-one talks on the sidelines of the summit on Sunday morning, and hold a separate meeting with Mr Tusk later.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Johnson met Mr Trump at the United Nations while UK foreign secretary

In July, Mr Trump said talks about a “very substantial” post-Brexit trade deal between his country and the UK were under way.

He also said he believed Mr Johnson would do “a great job” as prime minister, adding: “He’s a different kind of guy, but they say I’m a different kind of guy too.”

The president said Mr Johnson would “straighten” out Brexit negotiations.

In 2015, while Mayor of London, Mr Johnson accused Mr Trump of “stupefying ignorance” for calling parts of the city no-go areas.

But he later said the US president had “many, many good qualities”.

In July, after Mr Trump used Twitter to criticise then-Prime Minister Theresa May and her handling of Brexit, Mr Johnson said Mr Trump “could perhaps be more diplomatic” in his tweets.

The G7 summit runs from Saturday to Monday.

On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron – who is hosting the summit – and German Chancellor Ms Merkel said the ongoing fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest must be discussed among the G7 leaders this weekend.

On Friday, Mr Johnson said reaching a new deal with the EU would not be “a cinch”, but reported “new mood music” from French President Emmanuel Macron and German President Angela Merkel”.

Speaking during a visit to Devon, the prime minister said the government was “making progress”, but would “have to prepare to come out without an agreement”.


British Airways strike: BA pilots announce September dates

British Airways planeImage copyright Getty Images

British Airways pilots are to strike on 9, 10 and 27 September in a dispute over pay, the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) has said.

The three-day strike – the first by BA pilots – could cause severe disruption, as Balpa represents about 90% of the airline’s pilots.

The union said strikes were a “last resort” born out of “enormous frustration” with airline management.

BA called it “unjustifiable” and said Balpa was “destroying” travel plans.

The union said BA rejected a “number of packages” that were proposed to resolve the pay dispute, and that there remains a gap of around £5m between the two sides’ positions.

The industrial action comes after 93% of Balpa’s members voted in favour of striking.

“Over recent years BA pilots have made sacrifice after sacrifice to assist the company such as taking a pay cut, productivity increases, closing the final salary pension scheme, giving up annual leave days, a new rostering system, and reducing flying pay,” Balpa said.

Pilots have rejected a pay increase worth 11.5% over three years, which the airline put forward in July.

BA’s chairman and CEO, Alex Cruz, said it was a “fair deal” and called the move by Balpa “disappointing”.

Cancelled flights

BA said it is making changes to its flight schedule, adding that it will “do everything [it] can to get as many people away on their journeys as possible”.

“However, it is likely that many of our customers will not be able to travel and we will be offering refunds and rebookings for passengers booked on cancelled flights,” it said.

Speaking to BBC News, Mr Cruz said it remains unclear how much disruption the strikes may cause.

“We are focused on minimising disruption to those who may be affected,” he said.

BA lost an appeal aimed at halting the strikes last month.

Its owner, International Airlines Group (IAG), had sought an injunction to prevent the strike in the High Court, but it was overturned.

It was then rejected by the Court of Appeal on 31 July.

IAG, which also owns Spanish carrier Iberia and Ireland’s Aer Lingus, reported a pre-tax profit of €3bn (£2.7bn) last year, up almost 9.8% on the previous year.

British Airways contributed £1.96bn to that, up 8.7% on 2017.


Thailand hotel fight: Briton Amitpal Singh Bajaj killed

Amitpal Singh Bajaj and Bandhna Kaur BajajImage copyright The Bajaj family
Image caption Amitpal Singh Bajaj and his wife Bandhna had been staying at the five-star Centara Grand Hotel

A British man died in a fight at a Thai hotel after telling another guest to keep the noise down as his wife and son tried to sleep, his family said.

Amitpal Singh Bajaj, 34, from London, complained about noise from the next room at the five-star Centara Grand Hotel in Phuket.

His family claims a man forced his way into their room via the balcony early on Wednesday and strangled Mr Bajaj.

His wife said her husband “sacrificed his life” to save her and their son.

The Foreign Office confirmed it was assisting a family in the area.

In a statement Mr Bajaj’s wife Bandhna Kaur Bajaj said: “My husband sacrificed his life to save my son’s life and mine. He will always be our hero.”

Mrs Bajaj, also 34, told how the attacker “barged” into their room naked and “just started charging at my husband”.

“My husband tried to block the man and move me and my son away. As the man was kicking, punching and just, beating him up, my husband told me to please leave and save our son,” she said.

‘Very scared’

Mrs Bajaj, from Southall, said she grabbed the couple’s two-year-old son Veer Singh and fled the hotel room to look for help.

She ran down a staircase and hid under a tree with her son in her arms while calling the reception from her mobile to tell them what had happened.

She said: “I asked the reception to please make sure someone attends to my husband – ‘please give him some medical help, I’m very scared, I’ve escaped’.

“I could still hear [the attacker] screaming. I didn’t want to be attacked.”

An ambulance and police then arrived at the hotel, in the Karon part of the city, and took Mr Amitpal to Patong Hospital where he was confirmed dead.

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry confirmed that a Norwegian citizen has been arrested in Thailand and is being provided consular assistance.


Jared O’Mara: Sheffield MP arrested in fraud probe

Jared O'MaraImage copyright House of Commons
Image caption Jared O’Mara has been an independent MP since resigning from Labour in 2018

MP Jared O’Mara has been arrested on suspicion of fraud, according to multiple sources.

The independent MP for Sheffield Hallam was arrested at the same time as his chief of staff Gareth Arnold, the BBC’s Next Episode Podcast found.

Electronic equipment was confiscated in the South Yorkshire Police inquiry, the BBC also understands.

Mr O’Mara did not respond to requests for comment while Mr Arnold said he had “no comment”.

Both have been released under investigation.

South Yorkshire Police would not confirm details of either man’s arrest.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority said it was a “matter for the police”.

Mr O’Mara said he was “taking time out for mental health treatment” in July and promised to resign at the end of summer recess after allegations of sexual misconduct towards staff.

Constituents have complained that case work has not been dealt with in the MP’s absence, allegations Mr Arnold denies.

Responding to the latest news, Sinead Parkinson, a member of the Hallam Constituents Facebook group, told the BBC: “We are pleased that an investigation is under way but we are still a constituency unrepresented and action needs to be taken to correct that.”

During its investigation, the BBC uncovered staff running the MP’s office without the proper security clearance required by Parliamentary authorities.

After the investigation was published, the constituency office was closed and staff formally given four weeks’ notice.

The Treasury confirmed Mr O’Mara had, in recent weeks, given formal notice of his intent to resign in September.

When the BBC has visited the constituency offices, on a number of occasions, they were found to be empty.

You can listen to The BBC’s Next Episode Podcast on BBC Sounds here.


Acocks Green: Mother held after son, 10, ‘found dead in caravan’

The sceneImage copyright SNAPPERSK
Image caption Police were called at about 07:30 BST

A mother has been arrested on suspicion of child neglect after her 10-year-old son was found dead in a caravan in Birmingham, police said.

Emergency services were called to reports of a child unconscious at an address in Blossomville Way, Acocks Green, on Thursday morning.

He was taken to hospital where “nothing could be done to save him” and he was pronounced dead, police said.

His death is “unexplained” and a post-mortem examination is to take place.

West Midlands Police confirmed the arrested 44-year-old woman is the child’s mother.

Det Insp Joe Davenport said he understood the boy “had some underlying health issues and was admitted to hospital recently”.

“We’ve launched an inquiry to understand what happened in the days leading up to his death and to determine if any factors have contributed to his death,” he added.

Image copyright SNAPPERSK
Image caption The boy was found unconscious in Blossomville Way, Acocks Green

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said it was called to reports of a medical emergency at the address at 07:19 BST.

“On arrival we discovered one patient, a boy, who was in a critical condition,” he said.

“He received specialist trauma care at the scene before being transported to Heartlands Hospital.

“Sadly, it later became apparent at hospital that nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed deceased.”

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