Category Archives: Portsmouth Southampton

The Crown V H J Redknapp – day 2

 

Day 2 saw a full day of evidence from the prosecution over primarily the first lodgement into the Monaco Bank Account named “Rosie47”. It also brought the first disparity between the two defendants over the reasons for the transaction.

To recap, The Crown’s case against the Tottenham Hotspur manager is as follows:

During his time as Manager of Portsmouth Football Club between 2002 and 2007 he received two payments from the Chairman of the Club Milan Mandaric totalling $295,000 (approximately £189,000) which was paid into an account in Monaco and upon which he should have paid tax. These were as follows:                                                                                                                            $                         £   

          First payment (Crouch)             145,000                 93,100

          Second Payment                       150,000                 96,300

The first of these payments, $145,000 related to transfer of Peter Crouch to Aston Villa. Portsmouth made a profit on this transfer and as director of football Harry was entitled to 10% of the transfer profit. When he replaced Graham Rix and became manager of the club this entitlement dropped to 5%.

Previously Harry had revealed this in the press and that he had asked for the balance of funds. The BBC have reported that Harry’s share was £115,473 but based upon what Harry suggested that this would have been £150,000. 

My thoughts on this are two fold. Firstly, why are we talking in dollars? The transaction was an English one and therefore would be by reference to a contract of employment with Portsmouth Football Club. Dollars only become relevant because Mr Mandaric had the money he used to make these payments offshore. 

If one were to reduce a sum of £150,000 for tax and National Insurance you would end up with a minimum net sum of approximately £88,500. Could this mean that Harry felt tax had been paid on the money as he got £93,100? Certainly if he is the tough businessman that the prosecution are portraying him to be he would be expected to know if he had been robbed; after all he had pointed this out to Mr Mandaric in the first place.

Secondly, if the money was the subject of a payment relating to a contract of employment then the sum should have been taxed under PAYE by Portsmouth Football Club. It would not matter how the payment was made, either within or outside of the company, PAYE would still be due. 

What would be needed, if the payment was outside of the business, would be for the Company’s accounts department to be advised so that entries could be made in the records to show an increase in Mr Mandaric’s loan account so that the profit and loss be charged with the bonus payment securing tax relief for Portsmouth.

Between the defendants Harry says it is a contractual payment, describing it as a bonus. Mr Mandaric appears to be suggesting that it was an interest free loan or an investment to help a friend out and therefore outside of the tax regime. It would also appear that the prosecution are relying upon transcriptions from the former newspaper The News of the World. 

When it comes to the defence of the case it will be interesting to see how both men defend this point as it will be critical for Mr Mandaric’s defence. In this area he, as Chairman and owner of Portsmouth, would appear to have more responsibilities towards the Crown to make sure that things have been done correctly.

We also learned that Harry had suffered a civil investigation from HM Revenue & Customs over a two year period relating to an amount he received over the transfer of Rio Ferdinand. This was described as a “gift” by Harry when completing his forms but appears to have suffered tax after the enquiry.

Gifts are a difficult area and of one receives it by reference to your employment then HM Revenue & Customs would press for tax and National Insurance. It appear that is what happened in this case.

Part of this procedure might have included completing a statement of assets which would include disclosing all of the bank and deposit accounts held at two particular dates. A failure to disclose an account or completing it inappropriately at a later date is looked upon unfavourably by the Crown and will no doubt be referred to often during the trial. 

This looks bad on Harry’s record and he will have to give some very strong reasons for the omission when the time comes. This failure to disclose, even if the Rio investigation period was much different, came at a time when an opportunity came to make a clean breast of things. If he thought the funds had been taxed that might be one thing but the interest received? 

It seems that Harry had forgotten of the accounts existence. What might Mandy Rice-Davies have to say about that? He should have been prepared by his legal team to have the book thrown at him over this failure. It could prove to be close to a red card issue. 

So the day concludes with the prosecution continuing to give evidence. 

Elsewhere it has been a disappointing day with a winding up order being made against Portsmouth for failing to pay £1.6m of tax. Clearly this demonstrates that whilst Portsmouth might be underfunded for its current operations by its owners that having football creditors paid in full does and will not work in the future and therefore must be changed. 

I cannot say whether any of these football creditors have been paid but from memory one name that was on the list was, yes you’ve guessed it, Peter Crouch. The same man who was let off for an eye gouging offence last weekend. The poor man can’t keep out of the news.      

Crown v H J Redknapp – day 1

Harry Redknapp attended Southwark Crown Court today for the first day of his two week trial into alleged tax irregularities. The Crown’s case against the Tottenham Hotspur manager is as follows:

During his time as Manager of Portsmouth Football Club between 2002 and 2007 he received two payments from the Chairman of the Club Milan Mandaric totalling $295,000 (approximately £189,000) which was paid into an account in Monaco and upon which he should have paid tax.

Harry arrived at the Court at around 8.00, which anyone who has completed jury service will know is extremely early for the 10.00 start. Unfortunately for him the press had gathered from around 7.00 so that he could not enter without a host of photographs being taken which are already on the internet and will be in tomorrows newspapers.

The jury was sworn in with the Judge asking them to forget about football allegiances as they have to take an oath upon which they agree to give true verdicts upon the evidence that they will hear. They were asked to declare if they held allegiances to either Spurs or Pompey as it might prevent them from dealing with their duties as a juror in the correct manner.

After the lunch break the trial commenced with the prosecution providing the start of their evidence. Sky report that John Black QC told the Court that “The Crown’s case is that the money transfers to the offshore Monaco bank account were deliberately and dishonestly paid by Mr Mandaric and then received by Harry with the intention of concealing them from the authorities and also paying tax.”

The first payment related to the sale of Peter Crouch from Portsmouth to Aston Villa on a profit of £3 million. This is not new evidence as Harry himself informed the press before he was advised to shut up of this fact and that he had received a payment from the club but for the wrong sum. As we understood it at that time the payment made to Monaco was the balancing sum as Mr Mandaric acknowledged his error.

What we did learn was that the bank account into which the money was placed was called “Rosie47” after his dog and the year in which he was born. Having no offshore bank accounts I do not know if this is unusual but it is pretty press worthy and will get lots of publicity in the morning.  Is this of relevance? 

Clearly the prosecution believe it shows he wished to keep it under a radar so it will be interesting to see if the defence are able to show that his name and address – needed for the sending of statements and correspondence – were also provided at the time of the account being opened. 

It is difficult to see how a trial concerning two payments can be scheduled to last for two weeks but with the rate of progress thus far one gets an idea how the public purse pays so much for our judicial system. Swearing in a jury does take time and tomorrow will see a full day of evidence and maybe more things we have not known.

Both defendants deny the charges.

Two wheels on our Wagon: Portsmouth 2 Spurs 0

When I was a kid you often heard the New Christie Minstrels singing about “a mile down the road there’s a hidden cave” and after extra time yesterday one could quite easily have crawled into it. A welcome place to avoid the mobile going like crazy as we eventually left the Wembley car park with good wishes from West Ham and Arsenal supporters.

During the wait we were serenaded by a number of delighted Portsmouth fans clearly enjoying their moment and why would they not. However it comes a win is a win and for them it might prove to be their cup final with Chelsea waiting for them. Whatever the outcome we were not prepared for Spurs fans fighting amongst themselves after the penalty as they jostled to leave the ground. Yes it is important but at the end of the day it is only a game and those involved should be ashamed of themselves and 100% more considerate to those women and children around them in future.

As the teams were read out we welcomed back Corluka, Dawson and Huddlestone to make us nearly full strength. Unfortunately Dawson had a difficult afternoon making a couple of unforced errors in the first half before slipping on the appalling playing surface in attempting to make a clearance that then turned into the first goal.

I’m devastated for Michael as he will be haunted by that goal. He shouldn’t be as it was the accident waiting to happen for one of the players. Gareth Bale started off flying down the left side before slipping over following which the remainder of the first half he was subdued as if frightened of serious injury. Huddlestone too took a tumble in our own area which could have caused us similar problems.

Then we had a referee who conspired to rule out what looked like a decent equaliser and then give a penalty and yellow card against Palacios which rules him out of the Arsenal game come Wednesday. Both incidents were at the Portsmouth end and looked incorrect. Subsequent texts to balanced Spurs supporters watching at home confirmed the case so maybe an argument exists for Spurs being robbed.

Unfortunately it was one of those days when whatever happened the ball was not going to cross the line. David James surely must take the shirt in South Africa after another fine performance and some excellent saves. I cannot remember seeing us have more corners without actually creating a goal. And that’s how it went in a nutshell. Portsmouth adopted the two lines of four and in true Spurs style we failed to be clever enough to breach it.

Crouch took some stick for his efforts but he did get the ball in the net and force James into some decent saves. Defoe was anonymous for much of the afternoon apart from contributing some trademark blasts into a crowd of players. To be fair to him he did try passing the ball but it was a difficult afternoon for him. How he has missed Lennon’s pace down the right flank since our lightening winger picked up an injury.

His replacement David Bentley was once more substituted but I felt he played OK and his replacement Kranjcar did little to suggest that the team improved as a result. Bentley does stick to the line so adds width which was lost once he departed. He also put in a number of decent crosses for Crouch to attack without much reward for his efforts.

When we look back over this season we may well rue the fact that too many of our players form appeared to dip at the business end of the season. When we thought we would miss Modric Kranjcar came in and did really well complementing Lennon on the left and after Aaron’s injury Bentley was really good on the right. Both are now not at that level of performance and after having some excellent games Modric’s form has now also drifted.

That leaves our left back as the most potent attacking option that we have and after a while teams get the idea and take steps to reduce his effectiveness. Having said that, once again most of our best chances came from the boot of the flying Welshman and the thought of seeing Bale and Lennon operating on opposite flanks whets the appetite for next season.

Up front the goals for the strikers who were scoring for fun have dried up. Once again Defoe was eliminated after failing to convert a chance early on. Pav came on as his replacement and tried hard but as the openings came late in the game and in extra time the ball would not run our way or a pass was over hit.

So what was wrong and who was to blame?

Harry for his team selection? No I think he turned out the best side he could and Pav for Defoe was a good call. Kranjcar made us narrow but he has come off before as a sub.

The pitch? It played its part but it equally could have been a Portsmouth man who went down at a crucial moment.

The officials? Again they did not help but we really needed to score to take them out of the equation.

Not our day? That just about sums it up for the longer it went the more likely a defeat on the break became. Like other games earlier in the season just one goal would have brought them out but it was not to be.

So one wheel off at Sunderland, a second at Wembley and our three most difficult games to come. I could reach for the Freddie Mercury CD for Great Pretender but its still been a great season and I’m sticking with those New Christie Minstrels for the coming fixtures in the hope we can play our part on the title story “singing a higgity, haggity hoggety, high our Pioneers they never say die, about a mile down the road is White Hart Lane where we can beat those Arsenal boys come Wednesday night!”