A former football agent involved in Emiliano Sala’s move to Cardiff City from Nantes in January has failed to appear in court charged with two counts of fraudulent transfer of property.

Willie McKay arranged the flight that crashed in the English Channel, killing Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson.

He is accused of buying a £54,000 car and a £9,000 watch while bankrupt.

Mr McKay’s solicitor told Manchester Magistrates’ Court his client would not be attending because of the press.

“If he had been ambushed outside this court today it could have severely affected his mental wellbeing,” Michael Levy said.

Mr McKay, 60, of Craighead Road, Glasgow, faces two charges under the Insolvency Act, including spending £9,100 on a Rolex Date Just II watch for his wife in Leeds on 14 December 2014, while bankrupt.

The second charge states that a day later, he spent £54,000 on a Jaguar XK5 car in Doncaster.

Steven Palmer, chair of the bench, told the court: “We find no good reason why we should proceed in [Mr McKay’s] absence.

“We are going to adjourn to allow him to attend. We expect him to attend.”

Mr Palmer said the court would issue an “attend or warrant” letter, adding: “If he does not attend we may arrange transport for him.”

The next hearing will be held on 5 September.