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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 10 August, 2020

Harry Redknapp opened bank account under his dog's name, court hears

Lawyers focused on transfer of Peter Crouch on first day of Spurs manager’s tax evasion trial. He is co-accused with former Portsmouth owner Milan Mandaric.

Redknapp arrives at court this morning.
Redknapp arrives at court this morning.
Image: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER Harry Redknapp went on trial today, facing charges of evading taxes during his time in charge of Portsmouth.

The 64-year-old was in the dock alongside former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric at Southwark Crown Court.

The pair are accused of concealing payments of $295,000 from Britain’s tax authority between 2002 and 2007.

With Tottenham executives and Redknapp’s son Jamie, a former Liverpool and Spurs player, watching in court, a jury of eight men and four women was sworn in.

“It can prejudice if you hold such allegiances or prejudices towards clubs that the defendants were or are presently involved with,” judge Anthony Leonard told the jurors.

Both Redknapp and Mandaric, who is now chairman at third-tier club Sheffield Wednesday, deny the charges. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Redknapp raised a smile at mention of yesterday’s defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. The court then heard that the former West Ham boss allegedly flew to Monaco to set up a bank account in his dog Rosie’s name and that Mandaric paid him bungs for transfers.

Redknapp, appearing behind bullet-proof glass alongside Mandaric, listened while reading notes as John Black QC outlined how the manager received player transfer bonuses under a clause in his contract, focusing on the purchase of Peter Crouch for £1,250,000 before he was sold for £4.5 million.

Hot seat

The trial comes as Redknapp’s Tottenham side sits third in the Premier League, the highest place for a club with an English manager. He is considered a leading choice to replace Fabio Capello as England coach after this year’s European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

Redknapp managed south coast club Portsmouth between 2002 and 2004, and returned to Fratton Park in 2005 after a brief spell at its archrival Southampton before moving to Tottenham in 2008.

The first charge alleges that between 1 April, 2002, and 28 November, 2007, Mandaric paid $145,000 into a bank account held by Redknapp in Monaco, to avoid paying income tax and national insurance.

The second charge of cheating the public revenue relates to a sum of $150,000 allegedly paid by Mandaric to the same account between 1 May, 2004 and 28 November 28, 2007.

- additional reporting AP

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