The world's most expensive footballer Gareth Bale has had to postpone his wedding following his prospective father-in-law's imprisonment awaiting trial on fraud charges.

Martin Rhys-Jones, father of Bale's girlfriend Emma, faces up to 30 years in prison in the US over allegations of money-laundering and wire fraud.

Days after Bale's record £86 million transfer to Real Madrid, the charges against Rhys-Jones were revealed in court papers filed in New York following his extradition from Spain.

Rhys-Jones, 49, was arrested in Barcelona in May by Spanish police investigating the alleged "boiler room" scam, in which shares in US-listed companies were offered at inflated prices.

Eleven others have been implicated in the scam, including three Britons, seven Americans and a Kuwaiti.

Investors in Britain and Canada are thought to have been cheated of £3.2m.

Staff at his telemarketing company were allegedly asked to make "high-pressure" cold calls to sell the stock, as well as issue fraudulent press released which failed to mention the difficulty of re-selling the shares.

Rhys-Jones, who is said to use a string of alias names, has yet to meet his grand-daughter after the birth of the football star's daughter with Emma, Alba Violet, 11 months ago.

Rhys-Jones separated from Emma's mother Suzanne, the mother of his five children, before moving to Spain in 2005.

Now the couple have been forced to put their wedding plans on ice, in the hope that Rhys-Jones will be free to attend.

"They are really upset and have been trying to keep this under wraps. Like most girls, Emma wanted a big white wedding with her dad walking her down the aisle. It's the one blot on their horizon at the moment," a source close to the couple informed the Sun newspaper.

Emma, who is said to be in contact with her father, told friends she is hoping her father will be granted bail.

However, authorities in Buffalo, New York said that was unlikely, particularly in view of his attempts to fight extradition.

The footballer met Emma at school in Cardiff eight years ago. The couple have been keen to marry since their daughter's birth in October.

Suzanne said: "I haven't had anything to do with Martin for years. I don't know what is happening."

Bale's spokesman Jonathan Barnett said: "It's nothing to do with him [Bale]."