Harry Redknapp 'lost £250,000 aiding friend'

 

Harry Redknapp told police his home was at risk after he lost millions of pounds in disastrous investments, a court heard today.

The Tottenham manager urged detectives to ask his solicitor if he had "ever come across anyone as bad, businesswise".

He said he lost £6million in a property venture in Southsea, Hampshire, and had squandered £250,000 to help his friend, Jim Smith, keep his managerial job at Oxford United.

Redknapp - tipped as a future England boss - also said he had paid £1million in tax in 2008, before adding: "We are givers not takers."

During interviews with City of London police, Redknapp said: "I am not a tax fiddler, I am not any kind of tax fiddler, never have been in my life."

In transcripts read out at Southwark Crown Court, Redknapp said he had paid £8.5million on property in Southsea.

He said he had a chance to share the investment with a Samir Khan, described as a business associate of former England goalkeeper David James.

Redknapp told officers: "I've signed a form that says he's half in, and he ain't put no money in, and I've signed the forms now, you can ask my solicitor in Bournemouth, and they can't believe that I didn't read anything.

"I thought he said 'I'll meet you half way, I'll put half in what you put in'.

"He put half in what I put in up to that point and my own money was about two hundred grand, now he's in for nothing and he has half the profit.

"The only downside is it's only worth four million pound now and I've done like six million you know, my house is up against it but that's where I'm at, that's how useless I am with things, and you can check with my solicitor if you like.

"I'll give you my solicitor's name, you ask him if he's ever come across anyone as bad businesswise as I am.

"Unfortunately I live my life like that."

Redknapp claimed he wrote the Monaco account at the heart of a £189,000 bung allegation "completely out of my life".

Redknapp also told officers: "I have brought up a fantastic family."

He said: "To try and nick a few quid off the income tax... why? I am not into that. I don't need that. I would rather give you a hundred grand than nick a few quid off you.

"That's how I live. I have got a golf day tomorrow... I give 15,000 tomorrow to Leukaemia Busters."

The soccer boss added: "We are givers, not takers."

In an interview recording of City of London police interviews, Redknapp said Mr Smith had asked him over the phone for the Oxford United cash.

Mr Smith is said to have told Redknapp "some mega-rich young boy" - Nick Merry, who used to play for Oxford - had come over and was "about to buy the club".

But he only had 48 hours to complete the deal and could not get the £250,000 he needed in time so Mr Smith asked Redknapp if he could lend him the money.

Redknapp said: "I said, 'Jim, what's it got to do with me?'. He said, 'Harry... it'll help me, I'm the manager. If he buys it I've got a job still'.

"I lend him £250,000, I ring up the bank and said, 'Look, I said, Jim's said you've got the money in five days, Harry. You've got my word' - that's 20 months ago and the guy didn't buy the club and that's that's how I am.

"I can tell you 10 stories like that."

Both Redknapp, 64, of Poole, Dorset, and Milan Mandaric, from Oadby, Leicestershire, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp 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 a sum of 150,000 US dollars (£96,300) allegedly paid between May 1 2004 and November 28 2007.

Jurors were sent home to return on Monday, when they will hear final prosecution submissions before Mandaric's barrister Lord Ken Macdonald QC opens the defence.

PA

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