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Spurs boss accused of taking bungs

Football boss Harry Redknapp has gone on trial accused of taking tax-free offshore bungs in an account named after his pet dog.

The Tottenham Hotspur boss received transfer bonuses in a Monaco account to pull off the £189,000 tax dodge, jurors heard.

One of the payments during his time at Portsmouth was over the £3 million profit the club made on the sale of England star Peter Crouch, prosecutors claim. The "hard-headed businessman" and former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric were said to have obscured the money trail for years.

Redknapp failed to tell investigators about the Monaco account - named Rosie 47 - as tax officials probed a previous £300,000 payment he received over Rio Ferdinand's record-breaking transfer between West Ham United and Leeds, it was claimed.

Details of Redknapp's private financial dealings as a manager were laid bare as the man widely tipped as England's next football manager appeared in the dock at Southwark Crown Court.

Opening the case, prosecutor John Black QC said: "The Crown's case is that the money transfers to the offshore Monaco account were deliberately and dishonestly paid by Mr Mandaric, and deliberately and dishonestly received by Mr Redknapp, with the intention of concealing them from the authorities and the payment of tax."

Mr Black said "both parties must have known" they were avoiding taxes. "These payments were a bung or offshore bonus that the parties had absolutely no intention of paying taxes for," he said.

Redknapp and Mandaric deny two counts of cheating the public revenue when he was manager of Portsmouth Football Club.

The first charge of cheating the public revenue alleges that between April 1 2002 and November 28 2007 Mandaric paid 145,000 US dollars (£93,100) into the account. The second charge for the same offence relates to 150,000 US dollars (£96,300) allegedly paid between May 1 2004 and November 28 2007.

Redknapp, 64, who underwent minor heart surgery last year to unblock his arteries, is the most successful English manager in the modern game. Serbian Mandaric, 73, is now chairman of Sheffield Wednesday.


From Belfast Telegraph