Fingers on the buzzer. Question: When is a loss not a loss? answer: When it's used to pay the salary of John Hall, ex-miner and builder of Tyneside's own Zanadu, Metro Centre. According to accounts recently published by Sir John's Cameron Hall Developments, the group turned in a lachrymose pre-tax loss of some £3.7 million in 1990. Seekers after the reason why need look no further than the page listing directors' emoluments: most of the shortfall is accounted for by Sir John's knightly salary of £2,348,795. But do not fret: Cameron Hall's capital and reserves still stand at a distinctly untearstained £45 million, and Sir John can use the loot to support his favourite charity, Newcastle United. Indeed, Hall's purchase of £2 million in United shares was recently followed by his coincidental appointment as club chairman.
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