herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Redknapp looks to English post after tax acquittal

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp welcomed the final whistle on his court battle with HM Customs after his acquittal for tax fraud cleared the way for him to land English football's top job.

Redknapp walked free from court yesterday lunchtime with a five-year police inquiry in tatters, prompting bookmakers to slash the odds on the 64-year-old becoming the next England boss.

And the idea was thrust further into the spotlight last night when Fabio Capello resigned after holding crisis talks with the English Football Association in a bid to iron out a row over the decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

Redknapp said the case should never have reached trial after jurors accepted his angry denials of tax dodging on £189,000 (¤225,000) in a Monaco account.

His acquittal alongside co-defendant Milan Mandaric marked the end of an £8million (¤9.5m) investigation which failed to yield a conviction.

Mandaric and former Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie were also cleared of 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.



Unbelievable

"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 nodded to the jury before hugging Mandaric as the jury found them not guilty 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."

Redknapp was at times moved to the verge of tears in court after allegations 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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