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By Tony Attwood
The Sun newspaper is in a bit of a pickle at the moment. You see, Harry Redknapp is their columnist and (presumably) paid lots of money to write stuff, which means that when the big news in football is that Harry Redknapp is going to appear in court over fraud charges then they can’t really do the usual Sun shock horror oh my God, no you won’t believe it three-in-a-bed romp investigation. (Not that Harry has been in a three-in-a-bed romp you understand. I meant that generically, as a symbolic what-not concerning the way the Sun does things.)
In fact on 14 November 2011 the Sun ran a whole page of Redknapp without a single mention of court cases, fraud or anything like it. It was a Question and Answer session and these were the questions:
Q: What impressed you most about England’s performance in the 1-0 over world champions Spain?
Q: How do you assess Joleon Lescott’s performance in the centre of England’s defence?
Q: Why was Scott Parker so effective? What impact did he have?Q: Does this shatter the myth that England must play Wayne Rooney?
Q: Frank Lampard scored on his 90th England appearance. Reckon he’ll get 100 caps?
Q: If we played Spain in Euros would we win again?
Harry Redknapp is waiting for the green light from doctors to return to touchline duties at Tottenham.
But the North London club met belated confirmation of his trial date for alleged tax evasion with a ‘business as usual’ stance.
A relaxation of legal restrictions means that Redknapp’s two charges of ‘cheating the public revenue’ over alleged payments of £180,000 when he managed Portsmouth can be publicly revealed for the first time.
Redknapp, 64, and former Pompey owner Milan Mandaric, 73, are jointly charged with avoiding paying income tax and national insurance on money paid into accounts in Monaco between 2002 and 2007. They will stand trial at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, January 23.
Mandaric and Redknapp will both plead not guilty, with the case scheduled to last a fortnight.
But the legal issues are not the reason Spurs boss Redknapp may not be in the dug-out for their next game against Aston Villa at White Hart Lane next Monday.
Tottenham are backing Redknapp all the way in his legal fight, as they have done since the original dawn raid on his home – deemed by the High Court to have been unlawful and for which City of London Police later apologised – in November 2007.
Only Redknapp’s recovery from recent heart surgery to unblock coronary arteries is preventing him from returning to his job.
He missed last week’s win at Fulham and doctors have urged Redknapp to keep his feet up in Sandbanks, Dorset for up to five weeks to recuperate.
Of course one has to be careful what one says about a court case yet to happen, and one can’t start shouting that a man is guilty before he has had his day in court (or in Harry’s case, two weeks). And let’s note clearly and properly that Mr R has vehemently proclaimed his innocence throughout. He is thus innocent, unless the court says otherwise.
So the Mirror and the Sun leave him alone. But if they had wished, they could have done their usual stuff – the stuff that you can bet your life they would pound out if this unfortunate set of misunderstandings and administrative errors had occurred at Arsenal.
And since they haven’t it is down to Untold to reveal what they might have said….
Tottenham in shock as Redknapp faces imprisonment and lifetime ban from football.
Tottenham Hotspur has been thrown into chaos with the news that not only is their manager’s recovery from heart surgery going more slowly than expected but in the new year he will be forced to spend two weeks in court defending himself on a serious fraud charge which could lead to his permanent removal from football.
A source at Tottenham told the Mirror, “we are stunned. Harry is central to the work at Tottenham and to lose him for his surgery was one thing, but another two weeks in court on top of that is impossible.”
Talk of a top four finish has long gone out of the window, with the club now desperately seeking a new manager who can steer the club to a mid-table finish.
Private conversations are continuing with a view not just to ditching Redknapp if he is found guilty, but to remove him “for health reasons” before the case even comes to court.
Such talk shows just how much of a one-man show Tottenham has become, and the thought of being without the boss for much of the rest of the season, and being tainted by having relied so heavily on a man who might be found guilty of serious offences, has alarm bells ringing across north London.
“We’ve bought in some interesting players, and got some good youngsters coming through,” said another source close to the training camp, “but only Harry knows the plan of how they might be integrated. With him gone we are in a mess.”
One senior official described the club as “headless chicken country” at the moment.
Eventually Harry was charged with “two counts of cheating the public revenue of an estimated £40,000″. According to reports on internet sites (and of course I can’t verify these, so I am making no accusation here, but I think this is the clue to what is in documents that previously we could not discuss) $295,000 was paid by Mandaric to Harry via a bank account in Monaco, thus avoiding tax and NIC charges which would have been due had the payment been properly made in the UK. Peter Storrie was hauled in over concealing a signing on fee.
Here’s another one: A payment by “Rosie 47″ of $207,433.73 in 2008 to Harry two months after he was arrested in November 2007.
If you want the full run down the documents are published on The Story web site.
“Making the Arsenal” – the book of Arsenal’s rebirth
- PLAYERS: Just a few internationals left to go, and no injury news yet
- REF REVIEW: Norwich 3 Blackburn 3
- SUPPORTERS: Bored and annoyed at times of international football
- REF REVIEW: QPR 2 Manchester C 3, and something of a novelty
- STADIA: New stadium anyone? Let the tax payer pay!
- LADIES: A year of total triumph (plus FA Youth Cup news)
- HISTORY: The nine dead years of Arsenal
- PLAYERS: Carl Jenkinson at nineteen
- REFEREE REVIEW: Man U v Sunderland
- SPIES AND LIES: Has Tottenham been naughty again?
- MEDIA: Call to Arsenal fans to reject unwarranted media pressure on Van Persie
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