Credit crisis diary: Slow progress for Ryanair

Ryanair is fighting hard in its battle to buy Aer Lingus, issuing a string of press releases accusing its Irish rival of all sorts of failings and general naughtiness. But the campaign is so far falling short. Yesterday it said it now owned 29.83 per cent of Aer Lingus – not bad, until you hear that, prior to launching its takeover offer, its stake was 29.82 per cent.

Woolies shareholder rues the day

"This is an unnecessary closure which could have been avoided and I am sad it has been allowed to happen," said Ardeshir Naghshineh, the biggest shareholder in Woolworths, as the retailer closed its doors for good last night. Mr Naghshineh is of course quite right. Had leading shareholders – no names, naturally – not blocked a £50m bid for the company from Iceland's chief executive, Malcolm Walker, last year, Woolworths might, as he says, still be trading.

Credit crunch slays former dragon

Even those fearsome panellists from BBC 2's Dragon's Den can't beat the recession. Library House, the data provider founded by the former dragon Doug Richards, has been forced to go into administration. "The business had been spectacularly successful," its administrator says, but was too slow to adapt to the realities of the credit crunch. Poor old Doug should have paid more attention back in the den – adapt or die is a constant refrain on the show.

Support Chelsea to save yourself a few bob

Virgin Money has come up with a new way to save money in thesedifficult times: switch your football allegiance to Chelsea, it says. No, honestly: the club's players, onaverage, have the shortest surnames in the Premier League, says Virgin – and as clubs charge by the letter,buying a replica shirt featuring your favourite player's name will cost less at Chelsea. Pity Manchester City fans now stuck with the former Chelsea star Shaun Wright-Phillips. At 15 letters, he'll cost you more than anyone else.

One for sorrow...

Magpies are renowned in bird-watching circles for their nastiness – in short, they'll kill and eat pretty much anything – and now they're stalking insurance companies too. Lloyds TSB complains it has been forced to pay out to a customerwith the bank's home insurancecover after a magpie darted through an open window and stole his spectacles.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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