By a unanimous vote of a 12-person jury, Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp was cleared of charges he concealed $295,000 from British tax authorities in a foreign bank account. The jury of eight men and four women ruled that Redknapp did not conceal transfer bonuses paid to him by Milan Mandaric while both were employed by the Portsmouth club. The pair hugged as the verdict was read at Southwick Crown Court af the end of a two-week trial
Redknapp managed Portsmouth from 2002-04 and returned in 2005 after a brief spell at Southampton. He led Portsmouth to the 2008 FA Cup before leaving. The prosecution claimed that Mandaric, formerly the Portsmouth chairman, paid $145,000 into Redknapp’s Monaco bank account in 2002 as a bonus prompted by Peter Crouch’s sale from Portsmouth to Aston Villa, and another $150,000 two years later.
But jurors accepted evidence that the Rosie 47 bank account, named after the manager’s dog and his birth year, had nothing to do with soccer matters. Mandaric claimed he was providing tax-free loans for investing.
“It really has been a nightmare,” said Redknapp, who was first arrested in 2007 as part of a sweeping investigation of alleged corruption. “It’s been five years and this is a case that should never have come to court because it’s unbelievable, really. It was horrendous, you know, but ... the jury were absolutely unanimous that there was no case to answer. I’m pleased now we can go home and get on with our lives."