Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Livid Spurs boss Redknapp threatened to "sue the b*****ks" off journalist

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, followed by his son Jamie (background, right), arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London, today where he is on trial accused of tax evasion
Milan Mandaric arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London, today where he and Harry Redknapp are on trial accused of tax evasion
Harry Redknapp leaves Southwark Crown Court, London, yesterday. The Tottenham Hotspur manager is on trial accused of tax evasion

Football boss Harry Redknapp threatened to "sue the b*****ks" off a journalist as he angrily denied taking bungs, a court heard today.

The Tottenham Hotspur manager also said Milan Mandaric "don't know what he is f****** talking about" in a 2009 telephone conversation with a News of the World reporter.

In short extracts read out to a jury at Southwark Crown Court, Redknapp told Rob Beasley he had "the best accountants in England", claiming the Inland Revenue was fully aware of his dealings in Monaco.

Mr Beasley spoke to Redknapp days after a telephone interview with Mandaric, the former Portsmouth FC chairman.

When Mr Beasley described how Mandaric said the money sent to Redknapp's offshore accounts were investments outside football, the Tottenham Hotspur manager replied: "He don't know what he is f****** talking about. What is he talking about? It is a bonus."

Explaining that the payments surrounded profit made on the sale of Peter Crouch from Portsmouth to Aston Villa, Redknapp added: "If it was something dodgy I would have gone over there and brought it back in a briefcase."

When Beasley asked him whether he had paid any tax in the UK on it, Redknapp replied: "Haven't been asked to, Rob."

Redknapp said "there ain't nothing crooked in it" as the telephone conversation went on, the court heard.

"Don't say bung," Redknapp said. "It's nothing to do with a bung. It's paid by the chairman.

"How can it be a bung when the chairman of the football club paid me?"

He added: "What's a bung? It's a f****** sick word."

According to the transcript, he told Mandaric: "I don't want to have a problem with the tax man."

"They was aware of it from day one," he added.

When asked about the bonus clause in his contract, Redknapp said: "My accountant has got my contract ... I'm not going to f****** show you."

He added: "The Inland Revenue know all about it. I've got nothing to defend, Rob.

"I ain't done nothing wrong ... I ain't done nothing wrong, Rob. I got paid a bonus ... everyone is aware of it."

He later added: "Everyone knows about it, there ain't nothing crooked in it."

Redknapp subsequently told police "I don't fiddle", the court heard.

John Black QC, prosecuting, read out an interview which took place with a detective four months later in June.

Redknapp was said to have told a detective: "I said to him many, many times 'Milan, I don't want to end up with a tax bill'.

"I was told I wasn't liable for income tax on so many occasions."

Redknapp added: "For the sake of that amount of money or any amount of money, I don't fiddle.

"I pay my tax since I have been in football my entire life.

"I pay every penny."

Redknapp's account differed from what Mandaric told Mr Beasley on February 26 2009, the Crown claim.

Mandaric was said to have told Mr Beasley that the payments to the Monaco account were nothing to do with Portsmouth securing promotion to the Premier League.

The transcript said: "This is the money for my investment... a way to help Harry for the investment... we had become friends."

He added: "Rob, as I told you, it was nothing wrong. It was something I did for my friend... away from football."

Mandaric said he had "paid him a million or whatever it was I paid him" for Portsmouth's success on the pitch.

He added: "There was a contract and what I did for him was nothing to do with this."

As Mr Beasley told Redknapp what Mandaric had said, the manager said: "Well, if that's what he said, then he is wrong."

Redknapp added: "What people don't seem to understand - this money was paid by Milan in his American account... It was a bonus I was due."

Redknapp declared his Monaco account to inspectors less than two weeks before joining Spurs, the prosecution allege.

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