Dashwood: losing sheikh turns to indebted United



British racehorse owner trainer, John Gosden, won the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket (NYSE: NEU - news) this week with Shantaram.

But a familiar face was missing from the stands one Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Mubarak Hamad Al Khalifa, a member of the Bahrain ruling dynasty.

The sheikh, or at least his money, was a regular at all the big UK meets a few years back, and in 2008 invested in a couple of nags Dear Maurice and Royal Jazra. But neither his investment nor betting turned out to be profitable. After a fall-out, the horses were returned to their owners and it's come to Dashwood's attention that the sheikh has now run up debts of £375,000 with his former bookie, Spreadex.

My man in the betting ring said: "The company has been in contact with the Bahrain Royal Family council for 18 months now on this matter." Spreadex declined to comment.

Oh well, on to the sheikh's other passion the indebted Leeds United. The footie fan led a failed takeover of the then Premier League side in 2003 and reports out of Bahrain name him as a key figure in a Middle East consortium poised to take over Elland Road.

= Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) keeps the good news back =

Barclays, the UK's third biggest bank, this week announced a new three-year sponsorship deal with the Premier League, from next season. The long-time sponsor forked out £120m, almost 50pc more this time round, to renew its naming rights for the world's richest football division.

The announcement came 10 days after chief executive Bob Diamond resigned, following the Libor manipulation scandal. The deal was actually signed the day before Bob, a huge Chelsea fan, was knifed by the Governor of the Bank of England, but Barclays spinners held off announcing it until the Libor furore died down a little. It could have been a case of burying good news rather than bad.

= Unwanted hat trick for Robinsons CEO =

Drinks producer Britvic (Stuttgart: A0HMX9 - news) announced a profit warning last week, admitting the recall of its Robinsons Fruit Shoot, due to a faulty cap, diluted revenues.

Pre-tax profits will be down from £25m to £15m also affected by poor weather and the consumer recession.

But non-executive chairman, Gerald Corbett, has seen it all before. He was CEO of Railtrack, the private transport company that derailed in 2000, and boss of Woolworths (Xetra: 886853 - news) stores which collapsed on his watch in 2007.