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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?