Taxman first chased Redknapp over £300k Ferdinand payment

Monaco account 'was intended to obscure money trails'

Southwark Crown Court

Harry Redknapp had previously been investigated by the British tax authorities for a £300,000 payment over the transfer of Rio Ferdinand from West Ham United, a court heard yesterday in a dramatic opening day to the Tottenham Hotspur manager's trial on tax evasion charges.

The payment in Ferdinand's transfer to Leeds United in November 2000, when Redknapp was West Ham manager, was the subject of an investigation by tax officials from January 2004 to October 2006, the court heard.

The £18m transfer of Ferdinand was a British record and the disclosure by prosecutors came on the day when Redknapp was accused of taking a $295,000 [£200,000] "bung" which was paid into his secret Monaco bank account over a separate deal for Peter Crouch in 2002.

The Monaco bank account, set up in April 2002, and the £200,000 paid into it was the centrepiece of yesterday's prosecution case against Redknapp. The court heard that during the separate, earlier 22-month investigation into Redknapp's tax affairs, prompted by the Ferdinand payment, the Spurs manager had failed to mention the existence of the Monaco account. Less than 24 hours after his Spurs team were beaten 3-2 in their crucial Premier League clash with Manchester City on Sunday afternoon, Redknapp was at Southwark Crown Court yesterday morning, accompanied by his younger son Jamie, the former and England international, now a Sky Sports pundit, to hear the charges against him.

Redknapp, 64, whose Spurs side are currently third in the Premier League, sat behind glass in the dock of Court Six alongside his former chairman at Portsmouth, Milan Mandaric. Both men are accused of two counts of cheating the public revenue, tax evasion, in a case that Justice Leonard QC said he expected to last for two weeks.

The case centres on two payments of $145,000 [£93,000] and $150,000 [£96,000] – which were transferred to Redknapp's Monaco account in June 2002 and then April 2004 while he was the manager of Portsmouth – by the club's then chairman Mandaric. There was laughter in court when it was revealed that Redknapp had named his Monaco bank account "Rosie47" after his pet dog – now dead – and his year of birth.

A courtroom that was full to capacity with media for most of the day, heard that the payments from Mandaric had been made to an "offshore account" and been "deliberately and dishonestly paid" and "deliberately and dishonestly received by Redknapp" in order to evade the British tax authorities.

Mr Black QC, for the prosecution, said that the payments were a "bung" to make up a shortfall Redknapp believed was his due after the club renegotiated his cut of transfer deals on players moving out of Portsmouth. In this case the payments related to the transfer of Crouch from Portsmouth – in the player's first spell at the club – to Aston Villa in March 2002 for the fee of £4.5m.

Black said: "We say there were many and various explanations given [for the payments] and we say there were increasingly unrealistic attempts to conceal that the payments were a bung, an off-record bonus which the parties had no intention of declaring for tax and never did."

When Redknapp was appointed by Portsmouth in June 2001, he was brought to the club as director of football, the court heard. He had an agreement with Mandaric that he would be paid 10 per cent of profits from all transfer deals on players he brought to the club and sold on.

Redknapp had signed Crouch within days of taking up this position. However, by the time the player was sold to Villa, the terms of Redknapp's contract had changed. He had become manager of the club and his cut of transfer deals had been reduced to 5 per cent.

According to the new terms of the deal, the court heard, Redknapp was paid £115,473 by the club for his part in the Crouch transfer. Black said: "Redknapp did not wait long before taking steps to ensure he would receive what he regarded as his due by way of an offshore payment from the chairman."

In April 2002, four days after his five per cent payment, Redknapp flew to Monaco to open the "Rosie47" account at the HSBC branch of the principality. In February 2008, the court heard that Redknapp closed down the account and transferred a balance of $207,000 [£132,000] to his HSBC account in London.

Black said: "What was sent to tax authorities in the UK about this account? For the best part of four and a half years the short answer is nothing. The existence of the offshore account was not disclosed and the payments not disclosed.

"This is despite the fact that from January 2004 to October 2006, Harry Redknapp had participated in a civil tax investigation by revenue and customs into his affairs. This was prompted by concerns of a substantial £300,000 payment from his former club made by onward sale of another high-profile player ... Rio Ferdinand."

The existence of the bank account was not acknowledged by Redknapp, the court heard, until November 2006. He said: "You have to decide whether there was secrecy or whether there was full and frank disclosure in relation to Mr Mandaric and Mr Redknapp." He added that the purpose of the offshore account was "quite deliberate and intended to obscure the money trails and nature of the payments".

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own