Mandaric: Redknapp was on £4.2m at Portsmouth

Former Portsmouth chairman tells court of special friendship with his former manager

Southwark Crown Court

The Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp, had a contract worth £4.2m when he was in charge of Portsmouth from March 2004 to his departure nine months later, his former chairman, Milan Mandaric, told a court yesterday.

Details of Redknapp's final Portsmouth contract were revealed as Mandaric laid bare the relationship between the two men who took Portsmouth up from the Championship in 2003, forging a close friendship along the way, before they fell out in 2004 and Redknapp departed, later joining close rivals Southampton.

Mandaric took the stand for the first time at Southwark Crown Court where he, like Redknapp, faces two counts of cheating the revenue over two payments made to a Monaco bank account between 2002 and 2004. Born in Croatia but raised in Novi Sad in what is now Serbia before emigrating to America, Mandaric said at one point the two men were so close they celebrated 2002 New Year's Eve together with their wives.

"Overall, he [Redknapp] was a special guy in my book and a special manager," Mandaric told the court. "Above everything, he was a special friend and special manager." He also admitted that Redknapp would drive him "crazy" at times and likened him to a child he would have to "spank". Mandaric joked that at times the relationship with Redknapp would be one in which he wanted to "strangle him".

At the centre of the case are the payments of £93,000 and £96,000 Mandaric made to Redknapp's "Rosie47" Monaco account that the 73-year-old claims were the basis of an investment portfolio he established for his friend. The Crown contends they constitute a bonus on the profits made on the transfer of Peter Crouch to Aston Villa in March 2002, which was paid offshore to avoid tax. Mandaric told the court: "I felt I wanted to do something special for Harry and something no other people can do, something you cannot get in football business for no other reason than he meant more to me than any other football manager. He means to me a friend. It [the investment] was something I could do myself. I already had the infrastructure to do this."

A self-made billionaire, who made his fortune in Silicon Valley in the 1960s and 1970s, Mandaric has at different times owned a soccer franchise in America as well as Standard Liège, Nice, Portsmouth and Leicester City, and is now chairman of Sheffield Wednesday.

Mandaric said that he lost "more than $10m" the year that he established what he said was Redknapp's investment fund, the performance of which he said was "disastrous". Asked whether the funds deposited in "Rosie47" constituted a taxable bonus, Mandaric said: "Absolutely not, this was something entirely different."

Later he said that if he had wanted to pay Redknapp a bonus of £100,000, he could have done so. "For God's sake I had already spent £17m to support the club," Mandaric told the court. "I'm quite sure I could have come up with another £100,000."

Tottenham are not ruling out taking Redknapp by helicopter to Anfield on Monday for their league game against Liverpool. The case is due to run into a third week and is generally adjourned around 4pm daily.

Both men deny the charges. The case continues.

How Steve Jobs helped to make Mandaric

The former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric had a remarkable rise from the poverty of Marshal Tito's Yugoslavia to become a contractor of Apple's Steve Jobs in California and establishing a business worth $1bn, the court heard yesterday. Giving evidence for the first time in his trial for tax evasion, Mandaric, 73, chronicled his rise from his father's garage in Novi Sad to establishing and selling Sanmina Corp, an electronics giant. He later went on to build and sell another £1bn company that employs some 40,000 people around the world.

With his engineering background, Mandaric, now the Sheffield Wednesday chairman, developed circuit boards that were bought by Apple, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Siemens in the early boom years of Silicon Valley. "The one person who isn't around any more is Steve Jobs. He gave the biggest contract and that is why Sanmina got into other [manufacturing] components," Mandaric told Southwark Crown Court.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits