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Saturday, 8 May 2010

A Fugging Billion And A Half

Nobody who has any handle on the business dealings of Mohammed “You can call me Al” Fayed will be in the least surprised that he has sold Harrods, as the Beeb has reported. Why sell, and why now? Put bluntly, he needs the money

This may seem strange when Fayed’s personal wealth is considered – reckoned to be well over half a billion notes – but as any regular reader of the business pages of Private Eye will know, his empire has been taking out loans, refinancing and all the while spending, for many years.

As well as Harrods – no longer in possession of the Royal Warrant following Fayed’s bizarre tirades against Phil the Greek – there is the small matter of Fulham FC, into which Fayed has poured millions and still not equalled Manchester United, as he boasted when buying in to the club in the first place.

Indeed, he could have found himself even less well off had Roy Hodgson not secured a late escape from relegation last season and then got the club into the Europa League final this term.

Even so, among the various lenders, someone has clearly called time on the Fayed money-go-round, and one or more of the loans will have to be repaid, and sharpish. The idea that he has “decided to retire” is merely a convenient excuse.

Added to all of this is Fayed’s annoyance at being denied a British passport, which may diminish his desire to carry on doing business in the country. But his departure will not be missed by many, except to pause and urge him to Fug Off.

For good.

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