CITY DIARY

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The Independent Online
Poor old Paul Thompson, the sincere chairman of Sanderson Electronics. Like many successful entrepreneurs, he has developed a passion for football. To add to his company's sponsorship of Sheffield Wednesday, yesterday he signed a £1m deal with Southampton FC to put the company's name on 20,000 shirts and some hoardings near the pitch.

"I wanted to put our name on the shirt of a good, clean footballing side," he said.

The move was a brave one. Southampton is battling to avoid relegation from the Premier League at the end of the season and Mr Thompson is keeping his fingers crossed for them.

He was shocked, therefore, to hear on the radio yesterday morning that the team's famed goalkeeper, Bruce Grobbelaar, had been arrested at his Lymington home by Hampshire police, who are investigating allegations of corruption.

The acquisitive entrepreneur - who has access to a box for next season and plans to watch at least half the games - says he will not allow the investigation to spoil his enjoyment of the game.

Anxious Barings staff are enthusiastically getting to know their new Dutch employers. However, I hear that anyone caught sucking up too hard is being accused by resentful colleagues of "clog-licking".

Marriott Hotels caused an uproar in Wales when its recent advertising campaign, aimed at London businessmen, featured a stylised map of Britain which missed out the principality.

The blunder resulted in more than 40 complaints. Blame for the mistake is being laid by the British subsidiary at the door of Foote Cone and Belding Direct, the New York advertising agency with offices on Fifth Avenue, which clearly did not appreciate what pain its imaginative cartography would cause in passionate Celtic hearts.

To rectify the mistake, the 800-hotel chain has added a fresh sheet of paper to the advertisements which reinstates Wales to its rightful place.

"The geography of Britain is clearly not their forte in America," says Sharon Knight, marketing assistant of Marriott.

The Association of Lloyd's Names has caused consternation in the London market with its suggestion that brokers in the Lime Street trading hall, well known for their affection for fine wines, should be banned from drinking. "It should be a condition of working in the Room that underwriters, brokers and staff should not do so under the influence of alcohol or drugs," the association suggests. "Lloyd's should introduce random alcohol and drug-testing for those engaged in business in the room and elsewhere where underwriting is done." Brokers are horrified. "They are talking about some kind of Gestapo," says one trader, reeling with shock. "What with everything else going on, this seems like the last thing on people's minds."

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