Fred Goodwin is the CEO over at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). He is said to have been upset by an article that appeared in the Sunday Times' Prufrock diary section last month and is now suing (with his bank) the newspaper for £15,000 in damages.
The article itself made three claims which, so Goodwin alleges, 'caused embarrassment and has.....damaged his reputation'. £15,000 for a reputation ? Hmmmm. The diary entry in question made reference to Royal Bank's new £350m corporate HQ building, going up in Edinburgh.
It alleged that 'Sir Fred's latest desire is for a private road between his new Edinburgh headquarters and the airport. It seems that travelling 10 minutes on the A8 is too bourgeois. A vast bridge has been built for the purpose, but requests for Fred's fast lane have been rejected because it would cross a greenfield site'.
The column also claimed that Sir Fred had a 'personal on-site cabin' built for him on the construction site to enable him to keep an eye on the progress of the HQ building work. The RBS man says that this is untrue.
And, finally, the libel action contains a denial that Sir Fred made any attempt to join the prestigious Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society, which is situated nearby the new corporate HQ. The Prufrock diary had claimed that the CEO was 'livid' when he was informed that he could join, but that there was a 10-year waiting list.
But David Sandford, the club secretary at Bruntsfield, has now come forward and confirmed that Sir Fred's PA did contact him in the Spring about the possibility of membership. On being told of the long waiting list, the PA allegedly asked if the secretary knew who Sir Fred was. 'Yes', it is claimed, came back the swift response. 10 years, it seems, is 10 years - no matter who you are.