Credit crisis diary: Why Ronaldo's sale isn't big City news

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The Independent Online

Why Ronaldo's sale isn't big City news

He may be the best footballer in the world – and now the most expensive – but Cristiano Ronaldo has only made it to No 31 in one set of rankings: the Thomson Reuters league table of mergers and acquisitions for 2009. The analyst says that Real Madrid's £80m purchase of Rocket Ronnie was the seventh-largest deal in Europe last week. Apparently, it came ahead of Land Securities' sale of four shopping centres, but was still behind Birmingham City Council's £91m purchase of the Pallasades Shopping Centre next to New Street station.

Ryanair's latest challenge

Yet another hoop to jump through for customers of Michael O'Leary's Ryanair. To get its cheapest deals thse days you have to check in online but, if you are travelling next week, it's worth noting that the budget airline is taking down its internet site overnight on Wednesday 24 June for essential maintenance. So if you are flying the following day, you must print out your boarding pass before 6pm on Wednesday. Perhaps, if the airline insists that you use the site, it might be an idea to ensure that it works properly.

Lose your fruit or lose your job

Bad news if you work for Axa's health insurance division down in Tunbridge Wells: it's going to be a long hot summer and you'll probably get scurvy. That's assuming, of course, that staff at Axa vote as expected after managers offered them a choice of job losses or other cost-cutting measures. The latter include an end to "fruity Fridays", when staff are given free fruit, and switching off the air conditioning.

Estate agents coming back into fashion

Could this be the greenest shoot yet? Winkworth, the privately owned estate agency, is considering a stock market flotation this autumn. Estate agents have been going out of business left, right and centre in recent months, but Winkworth's management thinks sentiment is improving rapidly enough to get a float away before the end of the year.

A defeat snatched from a marketing triumph

To the Moneyfacts awards for the best providers of personal finance services, from mortgages to savings accounts. Abbey and Alliance & Leicester picked up no fewer than five awards between them, which should be handy for marketing purposes – or at least it would be were their owner, Spain's Banco Santander, not be about to dump both brands.