Bunhill: Ticket to Kiwi ride

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The Independent Online
THE beleaguered shareholders of Tottenham Hotspur remember Synchro Systems only too well. It was the computer ticketing company in which Spurs bought a majority stake in 1987, only to sell it back to the management four years later at a significant loss.

Despite Spurs' attentions, Synchro is thriving. It has installed ticketing systems at grounds as far apart as Glasgow Rangers and Crewe Alexandra. And it has just followed the England rugby team's success over the All Blacks by winning a pounds 100,000 contract to computerise the ticketing for 22 rugby union grounds in New Zealand.

According to Paul Williamson, Synchro's marketing director, the deal was concluded with the All Blacks during the tour. Synchro will install systems in the five test match grounds initially, and then roll it out to another 17 grounds where tourist matches take place, so you can go to some out-of-the-way ground and buy a ticket for a match in Auckland.

Synchro has also brought in a method of spotting tickets sold by touts. It was used at Twickenham last week and, who knows, it could be at Wimbledon this summer. Many cups, no Sugar.

IT'S ALL change at Ofgas, the gas industry watchdog, since Claire Spottiswoode, its new director-general, came on the scene. Soon after Sir James McKinnon departed for non- executive pastures last month, John Dawkin, the deputy director-general, disappeared to be head of consumer affairs at the DTI. Now Ian Cooke, head of PR, is also on the move.

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