Milan Mandaric takes to stand in Harry Redknapp trial

 

The football chairman accused of sending bungs to Harry Redknapp told a court today how Apple co-founder Steve Jobs helped make him rich.

Milan Mandaric told jurors he became a billionaire in computing after a poverty-stricken childhood.

The Croatia-born Serb said Jobs handed him one of his first contracts after he emigrated to the US and opened factories manufacturing circuit boards.

Mandaric, 73, told Southwark Crown Court he moved with his family to California after a troubled upbringing.

"It was a very difficult time in those days," he told jurors.

"For four years we were in mountains hiding from enemies while my father was taken to a concentration camp.

"When we returned, our village, it was destroyed. It was difficult days, difficult for everyone living in that part of the world."

Mandaric made a deal with Apple computing pioneer Jobs as his company - called Lika after his hometown - rapidly expanded during the 1970s.

As he took to the stand, Mandaric said: "I was quite successful.

"Somebody asks me the reason for my success - I say, 'I was in the right place at the right time'.

"Silicon Valley was just getting started and I was a part of that."

After building seven factories in Los Angeles, he sold the company to Tandy in 1980.

"It was quite a good deal for me and other shareholders," Mandaric said. "It put quite a smile on my face."

Mandaric, from Oadby, Leicestershire, and Tottenham Hotspur manager Redknapp, of Poole, Dorset, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp was manager of Portsmouth Football Club.

Mandaric told the court he became interested in owning football clubs as the sport began to expand in America.

He was involved in deals to bring football stars including Bobby Moore, George Best and Pele to the new US league, he said.

It was during this time that Mandaric became aware of Redknapp as a manager, he told the court.

Mandaric said: "In 35 years in football, I never had a closer relationship as a manager than I had with Harry."

When first questioned about his relationship with Redknapp by counsel Lord Macdonald QC, Mandaric joked: "When I tried to strangle him or when I love him?"

Redknapp joined Portsmouth - initially as a director of football - in 2001.

Mandaric said he asked Redknapp to take on managerial responsibilities as they became close.

When asked about Portsmouth's promotion the Premier League, Mandaric said: "It was a dream for me, it was a goal that I desperately wanted to achieve for those wonderful people in the city."

Asked about payments sent to the Monaco account, he added: "I want to do something special for Harry because he means more to me than a football manager. This was something as a friend."

The £189,000 payments were "something entirely different", he added.

"If this was something to do with employment, I would have done something entirely different," Mandaric said.

"This is entirely my voluntary thanks without contract. Something special for my friend from football into friendship territory. That's all I wanted to do."

He added: "I want to make it absolutely clear that it was completely away from his duties, his bonuses, his salaries... It has nothing to do with it. It is an entirely different subject."

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.

The case continues.

PA

News
people And here is why...
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
Life and Style
health
News
i100
News
people
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

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?