Ryan Giggs’ trial has been adjourned for almost seven months until 8 August because of a backlog of cases at Manchester Crown Court.
The former Manchester United and Wales midfielder was due to appear in court on Monday accused of deliberately headbutting his ex-girlfriend, Kate Greville.
Giggs, 47, allegedly assaulted 36-year-old Kate, causing her actual bodily harm at his residence in Worsley, Greater Manchester on 1 November 2020.
Further, the Wales manager, who has stepped away from the role, is alleged to have used controlling and coercive behaviour towards her between December 2017 and November 2020.
Giggs has also been charged with common assault after allegedly beating Kate’s youngster sister, Emma Greville, during the incident on 1 November 2020.
On Tuesday, Judge Hilary Manley explained: “Unfortunately it has become necessary to vacate this trial from the list.
“The reason for this is because there is not a court available to accommodate this trial. Due to the large backlog of court cases which has been exacerbated by the pandemic and the need for social distancing, this is a situation which is a daily reality for the criminal courts.”
Chris Daw QC, representing Giggs, said: “I have of course explained the situation to him and he is extremely disappointed at the development.
“He is grateful efforts have been made to fix the earliest possible new date.”
Giggs, who did not attend Tuesday’s hearing, will now face trial on August 8.
He denies these accusations and previously said in a statement: “I have full respect for the due process of law and understand the seriousness of the allegations. I look forward to clearing my name.”
Giggs did not manage Wales at Euro 2020, with Robert Page acting as caretaker for the Dragons at last summer’s tournament.
The 13-time Premier League winner pleaded not guilty to the charges against him in July, while Manchester Crown Court heard how he allegedly kicked his ex-girlfriend and threw her naked out of their hotel bedroom.
The clerk read out details of Giggs’ alleged controlling and coercive behaviour towards Kate, which included:
Messaging her and/or blocking her when she was on nights out with others, or she asked about your relationship with others.
Threatening to send e-mails to her friends and her employers about your sexual relationship and behaviour.
Throwing her belongings out of your house when she questioned you about relationships with other women.
At the Stafford Hotel in London, kicking her in the back, and then throwing her out of the hotel bedroom naked, followed by throwing her bag at her when she accused you of flirting with other women.
Sending constant unwanted messages and making constant unwanted calls to her and her friends when she tried to break off the relationship.
After she had tried to break off the relationship, regularly turning up unannounced and uninvited at her home, workplace and gym.
Giggs, who is a co-owner of League Two side Salford City, is also involved in a separate civil dispute with his ex-girlfriend over ownership of a pet.
Meanwhile, the chief executive of the Football Association of Wales opened up on his conversation with Giggs upon his appointment last July.
Noel Mooney said: “I spoke to Ryan briefly when I joined. He’s on a contract with us and we had a pleasant phone call.
“We’re just waiting. It’s in a process. We’re waiting to see how that pans out.”
In Giggs’ absence, Page led Wales to the last 16 of Euro 2020, a run which included a draw with Switzerland and a victory over Turkey before a heavy defeat by Denmark in the first knockout round.
Giggs’ contract with Wales is expected to expire this year.