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<b>Wednesday 2 July:</b> Uni ups the ante, walk-on train fares quadruple and Barton sentence gets suspended

Published on July 2nd 2008.

MANCHESTER METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY staff are reportedly being urged to up their allocation of top degree grades in order to keep up with competing universities. An internal MMU email asked computing and mathematics staff to increase the number of first class and upper second degrees according to reports from the BBC. Manchester Metropolitan University confirmed the e-mail was genuine.

WALK-ON rail fares in Manchester are unreasonable according to the Campaign for Better Transport. Tickets are reportedly four times more expensive than advanced bookings. Manchester has the lowest average walk-on fares out of 11 cities named. A spokesperson for the Campaign for Better Transport said: "The government needs to invest more in the rail network so people can just turn up at a station and go."

SIR ALEX FERGUSON has been in court defending a former player whose career ended over a 'negligent' tackle. Ben Collett is seeking multi-million pound damages after he broke his leg in a reserve game. Ferguson told the court that Collett had an 'outstanding chance' of making it at Old Trafford. Collett, 23, could have earned more than £13,000 a week, making a total in excess of £16m, if he had played until the age of 35.

DISGRACED FOOTBALLER, Joey Barton has been given a four-month sentence suspended for two years after assaulting a team-mate whilst at Manchester City. Barton admitted a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Newcastle United now intend to hold talks with Barton over his future.

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