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Redknapp cleared of dodging tax

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Harry Redknapp has been cleared of taking bungs

Harry Redknapp has been cleared of taking bungs

Harry Redknapp delivers a statement to the media outside Southwark Crown Court (AP)

Harry Redknapp delivers a statement to the media outside Southwark Crown Court (AP)

Former Portsmouth FC chairman Milan Mandaric was also cleared of tax avoidance charges

Former Portsmouth FC chairman Milan Mandaric was also cleared of tax avoidance charges

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Harry Redknapp has been cleared of taking bungs

Harry Redknapp has welcomed the final whistle on his bung slur "nightmare" after his acquittal on tax fraud charges cleared the way for him to land football's top job.

Bookmakers slashed odds on Redknapp becoming the next England manager as he walked free from court with a five-year police inquiry in tatters.

The Tottenham Hotspur boss said the case should never have reached trial after jurors accepted his angry denials of tax dodging on £189,000 in a Monaco account.

His acquittal alongside co-defendant Milan Mandaric marks a disastrous end for an £8 million investigation which failed to yield a single conviction.

Mandaric and former Portsmouth FC chief executive Peter Storrie were also cleared of £600,000 tax dodge charges at a previous trial, it can now be reported.

Outside London's Southwark Crown Court, a tired-looking Redknapp, flanked by son Jamie, said: "It really has been a nightmare, I've got to be honest. It's been five years and this is a case that should never have come to court because it's unbelievable really.

"It was horrendous, you know, but it was a unanimous decision. The jury were absolutely unanimous that there was no case to answer."

Redknapp is now 10/11 with one betting firm to take over from Fabio Capello, who was in crisis talks with the Football Association in a bid to iron out a row over the decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

He nodded to the jury before hugging Mandaric as the jury found them not guilty on on all counts. Mandaric told reporters: "I've got to go somewhere to try to pinch myself and wake me up from that horrible dream that I had in the past."

Redknapp was at times moved to the verge of tears in court as the Crown alleged he told a pack of lies to get off the hook. But jurors accepted Redknapp and Mandaric's evidence that the Monaco account in the name of Redknapp's dog, Rosie, was nothing to do with footballing matters at Portsmouth.

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