Business Diary 15/08/2009


Albemarle pulls the Woolies over our eyes


The pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond announced it was all change at the top earlier this week. The chairman, Charles Nicolson, stepped down to be replaced by his chief executive Greville Nicholls.

Barry Stevenson has been called in as the new chief executive and Albemarle bigged up his credentials as a former retail director of Marks & Spencer and chief executive of Wyevale Garden Centres. There was an extensive run down of those, as well as at B&Q and a list of current and past directorships totalling more than 50. Yet, the weighty biographical tome missed out Mr Stevenson's time at Woolworths. Why the omission?

Pay up Pompey: club offers financial service

Equifax released a report yesterday suggesting some Premiership clubs may have issues with their credit ratings. As experts pointed out, fans shouldn't worry as football is run and accounted for differently to other businesses. That said, as Diary perused the website of Portsmouth FC – home to David James, left – it found an interesting side business. PFC Financial Services offers "everyday financial products". Perhaps not the best of days to publicise that service.

Bing off Scot free as it wises up to Celtic fury

Bing really is getting down with the Celts this week. Yesterday's home page featured Auld Reekie (Scots for Edinburgh) on account of the festival which kicked off last week. The Diary is, however, pleased to note that the cliches and cultural stereotypes associated with the Welsh-themed home page earlier in the week ("Welsh has lots of long words", "click here to buy Tom Jones CDs") was not repeated. Is this because the Scots still tend to get a touch cross about such things whereas the Welsh are more likely to treat them with a weary sigh of resignation?

Goodwin good luck as Sir Fred returns for tee

Talking of Scotland, the new school term is about to start, which means Sir Fred Goodwin.pictured left, and clan are finally returning from their lengthy French holiday. He will have a lot of spare time for his beloved golf, but will he be welcomed back at the clubhouse? Or maybe he has just become used to being around men brandishing clubs.

Number of the day: $310K

The reported weekly cost of renting the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's luxury 183ft yacht Rosehearty

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