The North / South divide is already a pretty contentious subject at the best of times, but a tweet’s gone viral this week that really seems to have got people riled up.
It’s a debate that’s been going on for decades – where does the North and South of England begin?
With no literal line drawn to distinguish between the two, this does mean there’s no official ruling of which cities, towns, and villages are northern, and which are southern – and then there’s the added concept of the Midlands chucked in there too, so it’s no wonder it’s a topic of conversation that causes so much confusion.
Of course, geography would tell you that cities like Newcastle, Middlesbrough, and Carlisle are indisputably northern, while it would be quite tricky to class London, Brighton, and Oxford as anything other than southern – but for other places, it’s not so easy.
Taking to Twitter to share her thoughts on where the North and South begins, Michelle Bayly – who says she is from Northumberland – wrote: “Can we all agree that North is Leeds and above? It’s really annoying seeing the North such and such company, or something artsy North and for it to be in Birmingham etc.
“There’s also a middle…the midlands. Be the midlands. North of London doesn’t mean North.”
She also shared a map of the UK with two red lines drawn showing what she thinks the North, the Midlands, and the South are to further drive home her point – with major cities like Liverpool, Sheffield, Salford, and Hull joining Birmingham, Northampton, Norwich, and Nottingham in the Midlands.
“Is this a joke? How do you not think Sheffield and Manchester are in the north?,” one angry person wrote on Twitter
“Lol imagine complaining that Londoners don’t know where the north is and then putting out a map that puts Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield in the midlands – incredible stuff,” another confused person said in response.
A third added: “I think the idea that Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Hull aren’t in the North is slightly mad.”
Another person added definitively: “Chester, Liverpool, Salford, Manchester, Sheffield, Doncaster, Bradford, Leeds, and Hull are all in the north of England.”
Someone else gave their opinion on the matter: “You can’t cut Yorkshire in half! And Manchester/Liverpool are definitely northern too. Move the ‘north’ line down to go through Sheffield and it’s about right.”
One person seemed to sum up the thoughts of most in response to Michelle’s question of “Can we all agree that…” best though, simply commenting: “No, I’m afraid we can’t.”
After presumably having lots of angry people in her mentions, Michelle decided to take a different approach on the North / South divide – writing as a follow-up to her initial tweet: “After deep thought and consultation I have decided to scrap my map of North, Middle and South and instead go with the popular opinion that if you have gravy on chips or scraps and mushy peas with fish and chips then you are Northern and if not then not (no matter the geography).”
We don’t know if this makes things better or worse? We’ll let you be the judge of that.
Featured Image – Michelle Bayly (via Twitter)
Qatar and Sir Jim Ratcliffe set to submit ‘world record’ offers to buy Manchester United as other bidders are expected to join the race
The deadline for the second round of bidders in the race to takeover Manchester United football club has officially passed, with multiple world record offers reportedly on the verge of being submitted.
Following the first round of bids, which saw a Qatar investment group headed up by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe both put in their initial offers, Manchester United set a second deadline of 9pm on 22 March for them to increase their offers and welcome other offers.
While the opening bids matched each other at £4.5 billion, working with financial advisors Raine Group who are brokering in the deal from the US, neither reached the Glazer family ownership’s estimations, who value the club closer to £6bn.
As a result, both went on to carry out further negotiations — each visiting Old Trafford last Friday and staying for upwards of six hours (more than 10 in the case of the Qataris) — but it is now thought they may no longer be the only parties involved in the bidding war. Whether it will be in time is the issue.
Despite earlier reports that Sheikh Jassim and his associates had submitted a “world record offer” before the Glazers and Raine Group’s 9pm deadline (5pm New York time), Sky Sports‘ Kaveh Solhekol has now clarified that the bid was not submitted in time and that they have asked for an extension.
Man United are said to have agreed to the extension and Sheikh Jassim still remains confident that they have the “best bid” of the bunch.
Moreover, as per the likes of Mike Keegan, Jim Ratcliffe was also set to enter his second bid, with both offers said to have increased to around the £5bn mark. However, the INEOS chief exec is also said to have failed to meet the deadline and been granted an extension, according to a senior source.
Kaveh also went on to detail that multiple other offers have in fact been submitted, with the numbers said to be “approaching eight” different bidders.
Any bid of more than £3.75bn would break the world record fee for a sports club set when the Denver Broncos were sold last summer.
As for the frontrunners, both offers are still around a billion short of the Glazer’s asking price and not only have Sheikh Jassim and co. already warned they will ‘walk away’ if the price is too high, but it’s unclear how far Ratcliffe’s wealth can stretch if he is to continue pursuing a deal.
The key difference between the two bids is that Qatar’s bid will apparently make the club debt-free given the sheer mass of state wealth behind them, whereas the Failsworth-born businessman’s financing may be more complex to put together.
Trying to clear up the confusion, The Times‘ Matt Lawton said on Twitter that “both Qatari and INEOS representatives said their bids were in, United sources [are] saying they haven’t yet bid and have asked for an extension”, with offers now set to be made by tomorrow.
As reported by Sky Sports earlier this week, it was thought that “at least five other bidders” and as many as eight in question could join the race along with Ratcliffe and Qatar, who were the only two parties to have submitted an official offer for United during the first round of bidding.
However, a detailed list of the other candidates and precisely how many are still yet to be confirmed; Kaveh did go on to suggest that some could simply be a form of “hot air” designed to hopefully urge the ‘serious bidders’ to edge their offers up even higher.
As for next steps, neither of the parties in the supposed two-horse race expect an immediate decision from the board, especially after the unexpected delay, and those who submitted new offers in the second round of bidding will have to wait at least seven days to hear back from the club and brokers Raine Group regarding their progress.
However, it is worth noting that these subsequent bids may not necessarily be attempts to buy the club outright and not only is there a feeling that a third round of negotiations could take place, but there is also a growing sense that the Glazers could still pull out of a potential buyout altogether.
IKEA has brought back its viral ‘flat-pack’ chocolate bunny for Easter
IKEA has brought back its ‘flat pack’ chocolate bunny this Easter after it went viral and flew off the shelves last year.
The Swedish furniture giant is well-known across the world for being the home of affordable flat-pack furniture, and this is probably why shoppers rushed to praise the retailer for being so brilliantly on-brand when it launched a chocolate treat that you have to assemble yourself last Easter.
With Easter only a couple of weeks away now, shop shelves are filled with a wide range of themed chocolate treats to satisfy those sugar cravings.
Back by popular demand, and once again available for a limited-time only, the VÅRKÄNSLA is a self-assembly three-piece milk chocolate bunny – which, unlike a lot of other IKEA creations, requires absolutely no tools to put it together.
The chocolate bunny is a fun alternative to the traditional Easter egg, and is made using only certified cacao from sustainable sources.
According to a product description on the IKEA website, the chocolate bunny contains a minimum of 30% cocoa, and once it’s been put together, can either be used as Easter decoration, or you can just eat straight away if it’s too tempting to wait.
The best bit? In typical IKEA fashion, it’ll only set you back an affordable £3.95.
The VÅRKÄNSLA is just one of many alternative treats on the market at the moment for those looking for something a little different to chocolate this Easter – with the Easter egg made entirely out of two different types of cheese being one of the most popular.