Pembroke: Spurs get yellow card

TOTTENHAM Hotspur's unconventional profits forecast during live coverage of the FA Cup final has earned it the predictable rap over the knuckles.

For those of you who don't watch football, the forecast came in the form of an aside from Terry Venables, Tottenham's coach turned chief executive, who told Desmond Lynam and millions of viewers that the company would notch up profits of pounds 5m this year.

Yesterday came a more sober announcement through Topic (late in the second half) that 'profit before tax for the 10 months ended 31 March 1993 was approximately pounds 4m'.

Not quite the same impact, granted. But it's good to get these things on to an official footing.

THE GIRLS' houses at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, educator of one Richard Branson, are called Stanhope and Nugent. They could have had more fun. Especially if the bearded one had helped to finance them, as he was requested to do.

His one condition for backing? That one of them be called Virgin House.

FORGET Neighbours. The best new soap in Australia is the one about the government's attempts to introduce local pay television licences and national satellite TV.

The story so far: pay TV is restricted to outlets such as pubs. The government decides to launch a national pay service, via satellite, for households in 1994. Some networks, fearful of competition, lobby parliament. Other networks try to knit together local licences into a national, ground-based network that would be cheaper than Canberra's version, and available sooner. They end up in court.

In yesterday's episode the government called off its auction for the licences because of 'an obscure mistake in the wording of the tender'.

THE GLASS blowers of Sunderland were yesterday hot and bothered, not to say deflated, on learning that Northern Marketing Initiative, a small marketing agency based in Washington, Tyne & Wear, was facing the ultimate melt-down after deciding to go into voluntary liquidation.

NMI, promoters inter alia of the legendary 'Sunderland Glass Trail' (not a reference to closing time in the town's pubs) and a local glass-blowing school, were quick to blast the Department of Trade and Industry, blaming their demise on a withdrawal of official funding.

'Hot air,' says the DTI, well used by now to acting as an Aunt Sally for bad regional economic news.

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