The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 24 January 2012


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The Independent Online

Redknapp accused of £200,000 'bung' to Monaco account

Harry Redknapp was accused of taking a $295,000 [£200,000] "bung", paid into a secret Monaco bank account, on the first day of his trial on tax evasion charges yesterday. The Monaco bank account, set up in April 2002, and the £200,000 paid into it as part of a deal for Peter Crouch, was the centrepiece of the prosecution case against the Tottenham Hotspur manager.

Two payments of $145,000 [£93,000] and $150,000 [£96,000], transferred to Redknapp's Monaco account by then-Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric in 2002 and 2004 are at the heart of the case. The court heard the payments were "deliberately and dishonestly received by Redknapp". Mr Black QC, for the prosecution, said they were a "bung".

The court also heard that there had been a separate, 22-month investigation into Redknapp for a £300,000 payment over the transfer of Rio Ferdinand from West Ham, during which Redknapp did not mention the Monaco account.

Redknapp appeared in the dock of Court Six at Southwark Crown Court yesterday alongside Mandaric. Both men are accused of two counts of cheating the public revenue. Justice Leonard QC said he expected to the case to last for two weeks. MORE

Leicester stop Saints going top

Southampton failed to return to the top of the Championship last night after they were beaten 2-0 at home by Leicester City. David Nugent scored an excellent right-footed goal after 15 minutes and Matt Mills scored a header soon afterwards. MORE

Balotelli banned for four games

Mario Balotelli was charged with violent conduct and given a four-game ban by the Football Association last night for stamping on Scott Parker. If Manchester City do not appeal, the ban will start with tomorrow's Carling Cup semi-final at Liverpool. MORE

Freedman praises Palace journey

The Crystal Palace manager, Dougie Freedman, said his players were fearless ahead of tonight's Carling Cup semi-final second leg at Cardiff, given that the club were in administration two years ago. "Nothing can happen to these guys now," he said. MORE

Ferdinand, Nani doubts for Anfield

Manchester United face being without Rio Ferdinand and Nani for Saturday's FA Cup game at Liverpool. Ferdinand suffered a back spasm last week while Nani has a suspected metatarsal injury. Phil Jones may be fit, despite an ankle injury. MORE

Cook sings praises of partner Strauss

Alastair Cook has backed opening partner Andrew Strauss ahead of the second Test which starts tomorrow. It will be the 100th time in a Test they have opened together, only three pairs have done it more often. "He's a world-class player," Cook said. MORE

Murray coach 'not needed' so far

Andy Murray's coach Ivan Lendl believes his job has barely begun ahead of Murray's quarter-final with Kei Nishikori: "I wasn't hired to get Andy to the quarters. We all know that. He doesn't need me to get to the quarters or semis. He's done that without me." MORE

Serena well beaten by Makarova

Five-times champion Serena Williams was knocked out yesterday, by the world No 56 Ekaterina Makarova. Williams made 37 unforced errors and seven double-faults, and lost 6-2, 6-3. Makarova will face fellow Russian Maria Sharapova next. MORE

Faldo questions Woods' confidence

Nick Faldo believes Tiger Woods will struggle at this week's Abu Dhabi Championship, seven weeks after his last win: "He's fighting a lot of things. How good is his knee? How good is he technically? How good is his confidence? His concentration is broken." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

The claim that Arsène Wenger knows best continues to be pummelled. The hope that he will find his touch again is now an act of faith. Arsenal need a manager who knows what must be done and where work must start. MORE