People and Business: Spurs line-up for TV free-for-all

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SAM CHISHOLM, the tough-talking former chief executive of British Sky Broadcasting, has joined the board of Tottenham Hotspur as a non- executive director.

Alan Sugar, chairman of the Premiership club, is keen to retain Mr Chisholm's media expertise as negotiations over a possible European Super league threaten to turn football's finances upside down.

At the same time the club has shed the last remnants of the pre-Sugar regime. Tony Berry, the former boss of Blue Arrow, has stepped down as deputy chairman of Spurs after 12 years as a director. Fellow director Douglas Alexiou has also decided to call it a day.

Since his departure from Rupert Murdoch's employment last year on health grounds, Mr Chisholm has launched a fledgling media and sports rights company from offices in Conduit Street, London, together with his former deputy David Chance.

The New Zealander's other main roles are deputy chairman of the New Millenium Experience Company (with Michael Grade), and director of At Home Enterprises, a Polish media company.

Tottenham's Chairman Alan Sugar said yesterday: "Sam's knowledge of international broadcasting and future trends in the industry will be a major asset to Tottenham."

The appointment is part of a trend in football clubs, which are desperate to get on board people who understand the lucrative world of TV rights. In a similar move Greg Dyke, chief executive of Pearson Television, joined the board of Manchester United last year.

Mr Chisholm's expertise may come in handy next year when a probe by the Office of Fair Trading into football finance comes to court. If the OFT manages to derail the 1992 financing agreement worth pounds 304 million between BSkyB, the BBC and the Premier clubs, all rights to screening top UK football could be up for grabs - just the kind of free-for-all Mr Chisholm would relish.

MELINDA MESSENGER, Basil Brush, Ivana Trump and Geoffrey Robinson all get the vote from MPs as people they would trust to invest their money.

The second annual Virgin Direct "Questions of cash" poll threw up a bizarre array of investment preferences from our representatives at Westminster.

When asked which celebrity they would entrust to invest pounds 1,000 of their own money, three Labour MPs and one Lib Dem answered Gordon Brown.

Ken Livingstone, maverick Labour MP and prospective candidate for Mayor of London, answered: "Anyone except Gordon Brown." His money-saving hint was "don't own a car" - Londoners, be warned.

Returning to people best able to invest pounds 1,000, Colin Breed (Lib Dem) went for Ms Messenger; Jane Griffiths (Lab) opted for Ms Trump; Michael Moore (Lib Dem) picked the glove puppet Basil Brush; and Barry Gardiner (Lab) went for Mr Robinson, Paymaster-General and noted offshore investor.

The survey also asked MPs for handy money-saving hints, and no less than three advised "don't have children". Nigel Evans (Con) advocated inheriting a fortune, marrying Liz Taylor or staying in bed, while Jane Griffiths advised taking sandwiches to work.

Adrian Sanders (Lib Dem) says: "Don't buy pedal bin liners; use the supermarket shopping bags they give you for free."

The most disgraceful bit of advice comes from his colleague Lembit Opik, MP for Montgomeryshire: "Don't spend anything and leave just before its your round in the pub." I would never do that ...

CITY SPIN doctors Shandwick had a jolly time at their summer party in the GLC's County Hall last month. The bunfight for corporate clients was held in the new London Aquarium, which is full of exotic and fearsome sea creatures

Shandwick's new chief executive Mike Murphy endeared himself to the assembled clients with his refreshing honesty when he quipped: "There are probably more sharks on the outside than in the tanks."

WHILE MOST sensible people have fled the scorching City for balmier climes, the headhunters are hard at it. NatWest Global Financial Markets has hired Pablo Eizayaga as managing director of its global emerging markets group.

Mr Eizayaga has been joined by members of his team from UBS and will be based in London, reporting to Howard Kurz, managing director and global head of foreign exchange.

ACROSS TOWN BT Alex.Brown has poached Andrew McCullagh from Deutsche Morgan Grenfell to be a director in its leveraged finance group. Mr McCullagh is a veteran of several high profile deals, including Compass Healthcare, Automotive Products and Wellworths.

MEHMET DALMAN continues his drive to grow Commerzbank Global Equities in London by creating a media equity research team. In come Nick Ward and Gareth Thomas from Credit Lyonnais Securities Europe.