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been told that Rolf Harris indecently assaulted one of his
daughter's It is business as usual. We get on
with the running of the football club.
We'll be asking if there are any potential bidders out there.
Also tonight, another major development in football.
West Bromwich Albion have announced head coach Pepe Mel has left
the club after just four months at the Hawthorns.
Disappointing sales overseas for the Staffordshire digger maker JCB.
But it's still recorded strong financial results.
As long as our market show continues to grow, that is the key `` our
market share. A Radio Ham tribute
in his home city of Birmingham to the comedian Tony Hancock who would
have been 90 today. He was a very quiet man. I think he
was very concerned with getting it right.
And it looks as though we're perched on the brink
How good could it get? Find out in the forecast later.
Major developments today at two of our Premier League football
clubs, with Aston Villa put up for sale by their American owner and
West Bromwich Albion parting company with their Spanish head coach.
We're live at Villa Park and the Hawthorns this evening
And we start with Aston Villa. Nick Clitheroe's there for us.
Randy Lerner wanting out after almost eight years is not
Several weeks ago he said he would make clear his future plans at the
end of the season. The only thing we are waiting to learn is whether he
had already agreed a deal to sell the club or he was putting it up for
sale. Today we found out which of those it was going to be.
When Aston Villa's season finished with defeat at Tottenham yesterday,
it not only brought down the curtain on a miserable
campaign, but also it seems on Randy Lerner's ownership of Aston Villa.
The American owner put out a statement this morning full
of emotion, saying, I owe it to Villa to move on and look
Now he's appointed the Bank of America Merrill Lynch to look
for a buyer, although there's no suggestion of an immediate deal.
The chairman has clarified his role. It is very much business as usual.
The chairman remains in place, as does the manager, obviously. We have
the season to prepare for. Lerner felt like a breath
of fresh air when he arrived He spent ?62.6 million
on buying the club from Doug Ellis. In total,
he's believed to have spent But after a series of top`six places
under Martin O'Neill, Villa have finished each of the last
three seasons in the bottom six. That's led many fans to welcome
his decision to sell up. It is what the club needs. Something
needs to change. I was at Tottenham yesterday. Discontent all of the way
through. It is the best thing. Great news. Take the club forward. Hope
for better things. If someone invests loads of money, it would be
great. But it could take a long time to sell it.
But Lerner has definitely left his mark on the club.
He may have reined back on his early transfer spending, but there were
also big improvements to parts of the ground and a groundbreaking move
to use Villa's shirts to promote the Acorns children's charity.
It is clear that Randy Lerner loves the club. He had the crest tattooed
on his ankle. Eight years of being in charge have taken their toll
though. He said that the last seasons have been week in week out
battles and he has clearly had enough of them.
Just over three miles away from Villa Park is the home of
West Bromwich Albion who this afternoon announced that head coach
Pepe Mel had left the club after only four months in charge.
Albion just avoided relegation from the Premier League
and chairman Jeremy Peace is under fire from some fans.
It was very short. Pepe Mel's rain began in January and now he is
heading home, despite having kept them in the Premier League. It was
obvious his poor command of English might be a problem. Likewise, his
desire to rapidly change their style of play. Rumours about his future
have been gathering momentum in recent weeks so it was no surprise
when the decision came earlier this afternoon. The head coach was
calling for clarity and just before 3pm the chairman delivered. They had
parted company by mutual consent and no one was the least surprised. At
Friday's press conference, Pepe Mel sounded like a man who knew his
future was elsewhere. If it is my last game, I have enjoyed it. If it
proves to be your final game, how will you look back on your time
here? TRANSLATION: I will look back on it very positively. I have learnt
a lot of things about how things are done differently and I have learned
more English. Smiling through adversity, his English may have got
better, but his team did not. A home defeat confirmed the inevitable
conclusion that Pepe Mel was not the right man to motivate a side that
had missed out on relegation by just three points. Pepe Mel's time at the
hawthorns will finish with defeat. The statement said it had been a
disappointing campaign and lessons have been learned. The search for a
new head coach has now begun. They aim to find a suitable candidate to
enable the club to be more competitive next season. This life
song supporter is disheartened. `` lifelong. He wants the chairman to
engage with the fans and has launched a campaign to come up with
a shared vision. This is not about getting rid of the chairman or the
board. It is a question of getting them to listen. I think some form of
forum for the fans or representation within the club would be extremely
helpful. It may be a longer term plan, but it would be lovely at some
stage in the future to have a representative of the fans on the
board. Four months ago, the club gambled on Pepe Mel. He delivered,
keeping them in the Premier League, but the confidence was not matched
by those who run the club. We have had plenty of comment. We
have. Plenty of comments on our Facebook page will stop a broadly
similar theme. The Albion fans seem to like Pepe Mel but they are
calling on the chairman to invest substantial amounts of financial
backing. On Facebook, someone said that the previous head coach should
not have been sacked. He says that Pepe Mel had met his target. Another
man said, you cannot blame him. His hands were tied. A shambles of a
season. Luke has sympathy for Pepe Mel. He is obviously a lovely guide
which just makes this mistreatment by the board seem even more...
Especially when you consider it along with the other issues the club
is suffering from. Another man says he will do well someone `` somewhere
else. Next season could be even harder than the one we have just
had. With me now is Dr Steve McCabe from Birmingham City University's
business school. What are your thoughts on Randy Lerner? Here is
sick of the losses. He has deep pockets, but it is not never`ending.
You get the impression he was out of love with the English game. I wonder
what he will do about the tattooed. The losses, there is an old adage in
football, you can make a small fortune as long as you start off
with a large fortune. There is talk of 200 million. It seems about
right. Whoever comes in will have to add in 100 million to bring in new
players over the summer. Coping with the ongoing losses, it is not a good
business to make money on. It is the money you need going forward. Every
football fan wants the club to succeed. In Champions' League, you
are up against the likes of Man City. They have billionaire owners.
Are there any potential bidders? There is a question about a Texan
oil millionaire. Who knows. Birmingham City sort of up for sale,
West Bromwich Albion, they'll getting rid of their coach, and
Coventry City in a mess. A turmoil in this region, horrendous. Pretty
poor show. Most other British cities have the glamour clubs. We do not
seem to have that. Can people ever make money out of football clubs? It
is hard to see given the amount of money you have to pay for the top
players. Randy Lerner selling Aston Villa, what will the timescale be?
You would want to have it done as soon as possible to be ready for the
next season. Thank you very much indeed.
Camera, lights, action ` the new feature film made in
Could it bring more production this way?
The Staffordshire digger`maker JCB says it's disappointed that business
opportunities linked to infrastructure projects at the
World Cup in Brazil have failed to materialise.
It comes as the company announces a 14% fall in annual profits.
It sold fewer machines overseas than expected last year.
But UK sales were up by 50% meaning it's still been one
of the most profitable years in its 68`year history.
Dad Andy, mum Claire, mother`in`law Gwen, son Mike,
A family`run plant hire firm in Brereton in Staffordshire.
They've just bought six new JCBs because local house builders are
A vast increase in enquiries, people saying they are fully booked for
months ahead. This demand has helped the
Staffordshire digger`maker achieve JCB moved fast in an effort
to conquer overseas markets. Factories were built in emerging
economies like India and Brazil, but it now appears that demand for
these machines is levelling off. The World Cup in Rio de
Janeiro is one case in point. The hosts have been scrambling to
get stadiums ready, Everyone expected a boost from the
World Cup. The stadiums have been built and they are ready, but the
surrounding infrastructure in terms of roads and hotels has not really
happened. JCB has 22 factories worldwide. 11 are in the UK. Later
this year, production will begin at this plant in India at a time when
demand in India is falling. India is going through the general election.
The build up to that over the last 12 months, there has been a
wait`and`see attitude from our customers. We are very optimistic
that when the new government comes to power, the market will grow
again. The expansion will cost the company ?150 million.
It's a sign of confidence, but overseas markets are volatile.
JCB are closely monitoring the ongoing political tensions with
Ukraine and how it might impact upon sales.
It's a good job Britain's builders are back and busy.
A new campaign's been launched in Birmingham to encourage more
The city currently has nearly 300 children waiting to be fostered.
Denise Slator used to be a lorry driver,
but for the last seven years, she's been fostering babies and toddlers.
She's one of 600 foster carers in Birmingham, but the city council
When they are offered steady, secure, loving homes, they often
blossom in that cares. It is that we support our foster carers to
provide. In ten days' time, voters will go to
the polls in European and local Five years ago,
the British National Party came close to winning a European seat
in this region with 9% of the vote. But since then,
the party's struggled, as BBC Radio Stoke's political
reporter Phil McCann explains. 2009 and 122,000 people
in the Midlands vote for the BNP The party was riding high with 16
councillors in the Midlands, They won support partly by being
visible in communities, helping run bingo clubs like this one in
Abbey Hulton, which got them votes. What about immigration? Yes, good
point. I do not agree with all of these people coming in.
But over the last few years, things have been going wrong for the BNP.
It's had a cash crisis after losing a legal challenge to its all`white
membership policy and it's been beset by internal disagreements.
So, back at the bingo, does the BNP still have support today?
If they want to send them back, I am with them. British people should be
put first. Don't you think we have got enough in this country?
Now the British National Party has no councillors in Stoke`on`Trent
The BNP rose to power on the back of Labour Party supporting working
class vote. That has gone with the Conservative government in power.
UKIP have the benefit of those votes.
for racially`aggravated harassment after comments he made about black
But they're still out pounding the streets looking for votes.
Our view of mass immigration to Britain is that it is an illegal
process, it is illegal. It has never been sanctioned by the British
people and it is a project of social engineering, social change on a
national level, involving vast numbers of foreigners. It should
have been taken to the people. But people who sympathise with
the BNP's messages may now find lots of other anti`immigration
and anti`European parties to choose And Phil is in our Stoke studio
for us now. Do the issues that prompted people
to vote for the BNP five years ago still concern
voters in Stoke`on`Trent, Phil? Well, we saw there that there are
still a lot of people in Stoke`on`Trent and across the West
Midlands who are concerned about immigration. There are also a lot of
people who want the UK to leave the EU. The BNP's one of their main
policies is that they Europe and immigration. There have
been split in the BNP. Also, the Labour Party is thought to benefit
when the BNP is not doing so well because it picks up protest votes
against the current government instead.
Film making in the West Midlands is worth ?20 million to the region.
But can anything be done to bring yet more production here
Most film making still happens in London,
but six directors here have come together to make a feature`length
You get to a point when you realise business to the West Midlands.
You get to a point when you realise you are just as alive as anybody
It is interesting to see how these else.
It is interesting to see how these things work. I am a big film buff
myself. Checking In will premiere tonight
in Wolverhampton. This may be a low`budget feature,
but it has big ambitions Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett is
hopeful that they can hang onto their one`goal lead in the second
leg of the League Two play off. Adam McGurk scored the only goal of
the game just before half`time after The home side were reduced to ten
men after an hour when Ian Sharps was sent off
for a second bookable offence. Really pleased and relieved proud of
them. Disappointed with the sending`off. But we saw it out
pretty well. Shrewsbury have appointed
Micky Mellon as their new manager The former Fleetwood boss will be
assisted by previous manager And the Worcester Wolves
basketball team have become British They beat Newcastle 90`78 in the BBL
play`off final at Wembley Arena It's their second piece of
silverware this season, having won Today would have been the 90th
birthday of the Birmingham`born He was one of the biggest stars
in the country with his own show It started first on radio
and then transferred to television, with such classic episodes as
The Blood Donor and The Radio Ham. And it's The Radio Ham
which inspired a special celebration today outside the house where he was
born, as Ben Sidwell reports. For most people, it would be an odd
way to celebrate someone's birthday. But for the Coventry Amateur Radio
Society, there was nowhere better to be than on the drive of the
home where Tony Hancock was born. They are going to let me loose on
the airwaves. Let us see if we can make contact. This is GX two. Why
are you doing this? Indeed. A very good question. We remember the
sketch. What better way than a group of radio amateurs on the drive at
the birthplace of Tony Hancock. Just for today,
the society have been given a special call sign, GB8TH, for Tony
Hancock, of course, to communicate Alan Florence was one
of the sound engineers during Tony Hancock's audio recordings of
The Blood Donor and The Radio Ham. Unfortunately, on the recording, the
only time it broke down was Tony Hancock choking to death with
laughter so they had to stop the recording.
For some, this street in Hall Green in Birmingham was so special they
It was an added value. It made it for me, the fact I could live in the
road where Tony Hancock was born. How are you? Do me a favour. Go to
my mother pot asked her to make me a bread pudding. Which? my mother's
and ask her to make me a bread pudding.
And fittingly, rather than birthday cake, these
radio hams marked Tony Hancock's 90th with a piece of bread pudding.
Tell me it is going to pick up later in the week for the weather?
We have a pressure chart showing all of the showers breaking out and then
the pressure builds from the south`west from midweek onwards.
This will kill them off and bring back balance to the region and the
weather. The MS chart shows us how the temperatures will alter `` the
air mass chart. Temperatures up by three or 4 degrees. In summary, I
can say that things are picking up from midweek and as we approach
mid`May. Looking warmer by Wednesday. Currently in Birmingham
at least, we are looking at the sunshine breaking through nicely.
That is not the case everywhere. We are still seeing some fairly heavy
showers breaking out across some parts of the region before they
start to fade away in the early hours. Still a lot of cloud and
temperatures will be held up to around seven or 8 degrees. Not
particularly cold overnight. It will be dry and fairly sunny tomorrow. A
brief period of sunshine. Things will turn wet through the latter
part of the day. The showers will rumble in from the North stopped
they could be heavy at times with thunder as well. `` the latter part
of the day. The showers will rumble in from the North. Light to moderate
north`westerly winds. The high pressure starts to building from
tomorrow night and we see evidence of that in the showers beaten off
and then much drier conditions taking over. The cloud will be
breaking as well sufficiently to send temperatures low enough for
perhaps a touch of grass fast. Calder tomorrow. `` grass frost.
Calder tomorrow. Much drier for the second half of the week. Huge
strides towards warmer conditions. Tonight's headlines from the BBC:
Nigeria's missing schoolgirls. A video which appears to show more
than 100 of them is released And a dramatic day in the Premier
League as Aston Villa are put up for sale and West Bromwich Albion
part company with their head coach. Dominated by two of our Premier
League clubs. We cannot go without saying well done to Stoke City for
the highest ever finish. Terrific season.