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News from down the Lane. The occasional doings of our neighbours

By Tony Attwood

PKF is a firm of accountants engaged by Tottenham Hotspur, a club which until 1965 was part of the county of Middlesex.  In that year it moved (along with the rest of the county) into London.

They (PKF) have been asked to look further into issues of Olympic Stadium stuff.  Somehow they got hold of telephone records and other spicy bits and pieces, and supposedly gave them to Tottenham.

It has been revealed in court that PKF have agreed to reveal to West Ham all that they picked up.  It has also been revealed that they were only employed by Tottenham after Tottenham lost in their bid to get the stadium as their own.

After losing that bid (much to the annoyance of some Arsenal fans who created a jolly ditty about the need for Tottenham to run off to Stratford because “north London is ours” – what with Arsenal having been in north London from 1913, with Tottenham only joining them 52 years later) Tottenham launched appeals of such magnitude that the government was frightened that they would be left holding the stadium forever, and so were forced to scrap the whole “who wants a stadium?” gameshow.

Among the items that found its way to Tottenham via PKF are Karen Brady’s mobile phone bills showing details of each and every call that has been made during a set period.

PKF has said they don’t know where the record come from.  The court has ruled that the records have been “unlawfully obtained”.

Tottenham Hotspur, a football club, deny any wrongdoing.

PKF have said: “Neither West Ham nor Karen Brady have made any claim against PKF. They have asked us to supply information which is confidential to our client, Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham Hotspur [has] indicated that it no longer objects to us providing this information and we will now happily do so.”

The Olympic Park Legacy Company will issue a new tender document for the Olympic stadium any time now, in order to avoid a further investigation by the EC  West Ham are expected to be bidding again, and Orient are expected to launch a legal challenge.  What Tottenham will do remains to be seen.

Meanwhile Mr Redknapp, a manager, will shortly appear in court over allegations relating to his past activities at Portsmouth FC, who themselves are on the edge of being wound up, again, after their current owner and his businesses have come under further investigation..
Milan Mandaric will stand trial at the same time.
But this is where it gets a little odd.  Also at Portsmouth with Arry and Mandaric was Peter Storrie.   During his time at Portsmouth, the  club racked up debts well in excess of £150 million (although of course there may be no connection).
In January the BBC reported this…
“Mr Storrie, 57, appeared at Southwark Crown Court accused of one count of cheating the public revenue between 1 July 2003 and 28 November 2007.

“He is accused of concealing a signing-on fee for a midfielder.

“He spoke only to confirm his name and the case was adjourned until 15 April when he is due to enter a plea.

“Mr Storrie, of St Helen’s Road, Hayling Island, Hampshire, was given unconditional bail.

“He had been expected to enter a plea at the hearing, but the case was adjourned.”

One wonders why.  Anyway, that is on the internet as of today, and so can’t be considered prejudicial to Arry’s trial (otherwise it would have been taken down).  (Actually if you live n Hayling Island, could you pop round and see if Mr S is at home?)

On 29 March this year the Crown Prosecution web site announced,

“There will be a plea and case management hearing in the Harry Redknapp, Milan Mandaric and Peter Storrie case at Southwark Crown Court. The defendants are charged with various counts of cheating the public revenue.”

Now that is a matter of public record, and indeed still showing on the internet so again it can’t be prejudicial to the case.  Anyone can read it.

But by the time the Guardian ran the story of the upcoming court case on 12 November 2011 Mr Storrie had vanished from the plot – as if he had never existed, never been part of the game, never been charged, never pleaded, never worked at Portsmouth, never nothing.  He has become a non-person.

Except on the internet where there are lots of tales.  I even get people writing to me saying that Mr Storrie has been tried and they know the result.  But if they do, they know more than I, because I went searching the internet today and could find bugger all.   (And anyway, these stories are typical football stories – all inside information and no facts or evidence to back it up).

Anyway, Mr Storrie had been expected to plead in January but did not.  Then in March there was a plea and a case management hearing.   Then Mr Storrie vanishes.  Can we make anything of this, without drawing in any knowledge or supposition which can not legitimately drawn in and which might prejudice the trial?

All we can say is that logically one of these things happened…

1.  At the meeting in March  Mr Storrie was teleported away to another planet by Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise and the meeting was abandoned pending Mr Storrie’s return from the Planet Zonk.

2.  Mr Storrie claimed that he was an itinerant jellyfish and demanded that his case be heard by his peers.

3.  Mr Storrie’s lawyer said that Mr Storrie was an angel and as such could only be tried by God.  God said fine, but he was rather busy trying to sort out the problems caused by the Japanese earthquake, and would deal with things when He has a moment.

4.  Mr Storrie turns out never to have existed and was merely a figment of Arry’s imagination.  (Now that one I would believe).

5.  Mr Storrie is a quantum entity and therefore exists in multiple states and so is guilty and innocent at the same time rather like Schroedinger’s cat.

6.  Mr Storrie is, in fact, a cat.

Of course the jury will judge Arry on the facts presented to them in the case, and if they are not told about that report on the CPS and BBC web sites then they will not have Peter Storrie in the case at all.  Although that might be a bit strange since he was there.  But I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know “strange” in the way the law does.

But here’s a thought.  Wouldn’t it be amusing if the prosecution said to Arry, “So, Mr Redknapp, would you always say you are an honest person?”

“Yes,” says Mr Redknapp.

“And when you said in late 2011 that you never questioned or abused referees. were you being honest then?”

“Yes, I was,” says Mr Redknapp.

“Then, Mr Redknapp, what do you have to say to the report on Untold Arsenal which highlighted a number of occasions in which you have significantly questioned the integrity and/or competence of various referees.”

“OK gov, its a fair cop,” says Mr Redknapp.  “I done the Baker Street heist and the Shepherd’s Bush market job, but I plead insanity on account of having been the only person in history to have managed and destroyed both Portsmouth and Southampton football clubs within the space of two years and instead of being persecuted like this I should have a knighthood.”

That would seem about right.

Next week, is the pope a hedgehog?

19 comments to News from down the Lane. The occasional doings of our neighbours

  • Stuart

    I’d go with the Mr Storrie is, in fact, a cat explanation

  • Mandy Dodd

    Very strange indeed! Keep hearing about these rumours you mention, but cannot be substantiated anywhere. I have even heard a journalist going on about this…in so far as he could..in the form of hints and innuendo.. on Talksh1te, but just put him down to Arrys widespread PR machine., which is one of the principal roles of that very station. I look forward to seeing how this trial progresses. IF he is tried and found guilty, wonder what that means for the England, or even the Spurs job?

    But in the meantime, Arry’s court case or not, worth remembering that the Spuds are playing the greatest football ever seen, and in Modric, Bale and Parker, they have the greatest players the world has ever seen. I know because I keep reading it…everywhere…..

  • insideright

    What I still don’t fully understand is why Tottenham have found the need to ‘delist’ in order to make borrowing money for a new stadium an easier thing to do. The most plausible explanation seems to be that it will enable them to hide more of their business affairs or, at very least, make them more difficult to scrutinize.
    Such a move would seem to be in total contravention to UEFA’s demands for greater transparency and, on top of the fact that they are owned by a Company registered in the Bahamas (?) would merely serve to permeate the whole place with even more of the smell of fish.
    Isn’t it a pity that, just when it looks like they might possibly (albeit temporarily) have got it ‘right’ on the pitch that things could be looking quite so dodgy off it?
    Re Storrie – don’t supergrasses tend to disappear before big trials?

  • Mahdain

    @mandy spuds are everything good about football…they play the most beautiful brand of football ever to be seen by people..they are by far free flowing league entertainers and they cant do anything wrong with st arry in charge…in gareth bale they have got the best player to ever play football,modric is far better than xavi and in scotty parker they have the most gifted englishman to ever play the game..they are the untouchables and not even barcelona can beat spuds

  • Mahdain

    i have to say im really interested to see what happens in arry`s case..will they go easy on him because they want him at the england helm? perhaps but with his record of tax evasion and wheeling and dealing i think might be in trouble here…suppose he is found guilty how do you think the media will react? afterall he is a saint according to them and the best manager in the league..would go a long way in showing just how stupid they are

  • The delisting issue is certainly a bizarre one. I’d do an article on it if I had the slightest idea what they are up to.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sorry for asking but what is “delisting” is in this case? My football English is rather decent but my business English has some serious gaps I do admit…

  • WalterBroeckx

    When Mandaric is in town…., there seems to be some kind of trouble around….

    A name to remember and to have a closer look at I would suggest Anne.

  • Richard Fryer

    Delisting is to to de-list your shares from the Stock Exchange. You are then in complete control of your company, and can do whatever you like with it. As a member of the stock exchange, you have many limitations, both legal and also in regards what you must make public.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks Richard. I thought it was something like that but before making myself looking like a complete idiot and write something stupid I wanted to be sure.

    I must say if I had a company and wanted to hide something I sure would delist my company… 😉

  • Walter, what you say is right. But Tottenham is a very public company – although primarily owned by one man who is in a tax haven.

    What is odd is that this comes after a series of strange moves – getting planning permission and spending millions of pounds on the new stadium project, and then going after the Stratford stadium to such a degree the government has to drop plans to sell it.

    What is going on? That is the question.

    I have no idea if Arry is innocent or guilty, but I suspect tottenham are quite grateful of the distraction from the stadium issue and the de-listing of both the current form of Tottenham and the court case.

    With Tottenham you just never know.

  • Anne

    @Tony:

    Interesting stuff about Storrie, and also in the comments about Tottenham. I wasn’t aware that they had delisted, but it certainly sounds as if they would like to keep their affairs to themselves. I might have been better off if I hadn’t read this… I already have enough to do just covering money laundering in general 🙂

  • Anne

    I’m leaving this comment just to see if it works… I’ve left a couple of comments on my article that aren’t showing up for me for some reason.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Mr. Storrie could be a fictional character created for tax evasion. This happens in many countries where your dead grandmother is the owner of your company. When the tax man cometh, the company folds (and the money vanishes along with the real owner). This could well be true for Portsmouth, and the repeated change of ownership could be their way to hide their tracks. Pure speculation, but it could happen…

  • Gord

    Sorry, off topic.

    News out of Switzerland. FC Sion has filed a criminal complaint against FIFA for instructing them to carry out the sanctions against FC Sion, under the threat of disqualifying all Swiss teams from competing in FIFA sanctioned events. Or, at least some news sources say it is a criminal complaint. I seen one quote of “no comment” from the ManU crowd.

  • Anne

    @Sammy the Snake:

    I believe that what you just described there would be referred to as “money laundering.” 🙂

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I think Mr Attwood that if you wish to put Mr Redknapp in the dock for ‘disputing the integrity of referees’ then he will be a YTS junior and you and Mr Broeckx will the Godfathers at trial.

    Do stop your two-faced crap: you are the biggest impugners of referees’ integrity in English football and, if that is worthy of questioning at trial, please submit yourself to your local police station and demand to be prosecuted and face cross-examination about it.

    Try focussing on why Arsenal couldn’t beat Wolves with 10 men on the pitch.

    And the ongoing challenges to ECL qualification for 2012/13.

    Or accept that, if Arsenal can complain about referees, then so can Mr Redknapp.

  • Mahdain

    looks like someone has woken up on the wrong side of the bed..hey rhys did someone take away your lollipop or something?

  • jul

    Re- rhys a spud fan on an arsenal website, someone has ‘lost’ his way.