Redknapp set to take legal action against the BBC
Monday 18 September 2006
The Portsmouth manager, Harry Redknapp, is confident that the makers of BBC's Panorama are about to score an own-goal. He warned he is ready to take legal action after being due to feature in the programme called "Football's Dirty Secrets", scheduled for tomorrow night.
The programme has been made ahead of publication of Lord Stevens' report on the 300-plus player transfers to and from Premiership clubs over the past two years.
The Panorama brief was to investigate the so-called "bung culture" and it is believed they have told the veteran manager that he is one of several personalities targeted after meeting, and being filmed with, an individual posing as a German businessman at Pompey's training ground.
But Redknapp, 59, said he is "a one million per cent innocent party" and has never taken a back-hander to sign or sell a player. And although he said that being personally investigated will not destroy his focus on leading the regeneration of his unfashionable club, a Football Association inquiry is still ongoing into an alleged betting sting over his return as Portsmouth manager in December, and he admitted he is becoming angry and "fed up" with it.
Redknapp kept his mind on the job on Saturday, cursing and cajoling his side to a narrow victory against Charlton, and afterwards he said: "I still love and enjoy the game, that's what keeps me going, but the aggro does my head in sometimes because I don't deserve it.
"It won't finish here with me, believe you me. I know what I have done and I haven't done anything wrong. I'm not having this any more and I will do something about it."
Portsmouth is one club sold to non-British investors in recent years, along with Chelsea, Manchester United and Aston Villa, but the Premier League's chief executive, Richard Scudamore, said he is unconcerned by the number of foreign takeovers, provided that strict eligibility criteria are met.
Scudamore said: "The issue isn't who the owners are, neither their country of origin nor the colour of their skin. The issue is how they conduct themselves and how we regulate what goes on."
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