Mr Redknapp: The Coincidence Man (and what those earlier Untold articles were all about)

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By Tony Attwood

If you have a long memory, and take note of the occasional ramblings of mine on this site you might recall that I’ve written a few things about the Redknapp trial in the run up to the event.

Unfortunately, for reasons that I will explain below, I was not able to say all I wanted to say about the trial prior to its starting – although I did try and give a few hints.

I’m returning to the case now because I have only just got back to the UK, and it wasn’t practical to write anything while I was away.

In fact leaving the UK, where I live, and going to Australia for 3 weeks in the middle of the football season, is not something I normally do.  But one of my daughters lives in Oz, and although I could have gone during the off-season, that would have taken me to Australia in the southern winter, which seemed a bit of a waste.  So I went just as the cold set in, and had a lovely time in the Australian summer.

It also meant that I missed the Redknapp Trial – or at least the version of it published in the English press.

But as I lazed in the Australian sunshine (and occasional monsoon) I wondered if there was more to all this than meets the eye.  Prior to the trial I received a few emails from Untold readers outside the UK telling me one simple thing: that Peter Storrie had already been tried, had been found innocent, and that there was now a super injunction which made it illegal to comment on the Storrie trial.  No one could print a word.

Not particularly wanting to miss my trip to Australia and spend the period in prison in the UK I did not reprint the info that I got, particularly from the US, but did go a-searching for information on the Storrie trial.  I rather think Untold was just about the only publication that carried this story at all – you might just remember that I reprinted the information that was on the public record, which was taken from the Crown Prosecution Service website.  In fact I believe that this information should have been removed from the internet, but was left up by mistake.

On their site the CPS said that there had been a meeting of some significance in the case, and that Mr Storrie was going to plead, and that directions would be given as to how, when and where the case was to be heard.   And after that nothing.

There was little I could do with this information so I made a few silly jokes about Mr Storrie disappearing and being lost on Planet Zog etc and pleaded for anyone who saw Mr S on some distant planet to get in touch.  If I had said anything more Untold would have been closed.

But the fact is that Peter Storrie was charged and had his trial, and the whole trial has been kept secret.  As my correspondents from the US said, he was found innocent.  What they also said was that it was a dead cert that Redknapp would now also be found not guilty – and so it turned out.

And this is where it gets interesting.

The case also involved Mr Mandaric and took place last November and since then the press have on occasion mentioned the case – but what they have not done is explored what on earth was going on with different cases being held at different times. All these cases, all involving fraud, all with the senior football men being found not guilty.  What was going on?  Were the CPS idiots?  Were the police idiots? Or was there something deeper behind all this?   Had I stumbled in fact upon… “The Coincidence Coincidence”.

Storrie was alleged to have disguised a payment to the player as one to his agent, to avoid tax and national insurance.   Similar to the Redknapp situation.  Conspiracy? No, they were all not guilty.  So, just a coincidence.

The police started investigating in 2007, Storrie was arrested and charge with defrauding the public purse in relation to the Amdy Faye transfer,  then with a payment to Eyal Berkovic – and all this before the case of Redknapp paying money to his pet dog. Conspiracy to defraud?  No – they were all innocent.  Just coincidence then.

I don’t have a transcript of the earlier trial, so I don’t really know what on earth was going on there, nor how it relates to the Redknapp trial, nor why my correspondents were so sure in advance that Redknapp would be found innocent.  But I think they too were realising that when dealing with Mr Redknapp and his chums, coincidence is the name of the game.

Of course I have no reason to suggest that Mr Redknapp’s involvement in a series of clubs who have had financial and legal difficulties (West Ham had its Icelandic problems, its problems with players who were owned by agents etc, Southampton had administration, Portsmouth likewise had administration, Bournemouth went into administration), is anything other than coincidence.  Self-evidently he wasn’t there when these clubs fell apart, and indeed his dismissal from WHU has never been explained so we can draw no conclusions.  It is just a coincidence that some time later things went wrong for the club.

But what we can conclude is that strange events do sometimes follow Mr Redknapp. In no way does that make him guilty, and I do not at all in any way whatsoever suggest he is guilty of any wrong-doing.   Coincidences are just that – coincidences, and it may be that in Tottenham H Mr Redknapp has found a club that he can manage which will not subsequently go into administration and the coincidence chain will be broken.  But being found not guilty in his court case just a day or so before the England manager departed was also a coincidence – there is no suggestion that it was anything else.  Maybe the coincidences that follow Mr Redknapp are still there.

As I mused all this from the beaches, cafes and rainforests of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, I wondered… is there some secret galactic force that does link Mr Redknapp inexorably to coincidences.  Wouldn’t it be funny if it were the case that some people are always coincidence prone!  It is the sort of idea that comes to one when spending many a long hour travelling across the globe, unsure of the time, or even the day of the week.

I quite like the idea of The Coincidence Man – maybe it could become a novel a story about a football manager.  A man now at Tottenham H, and soon to be manager of England.

This could be fun.


39 Replies to “Mr Redknapp: The Coincidence Man (and what those earlier Untold articles were all about)”

  1. Wonderful article Tony, but i would like to say one would be really foolish to think that *twitchy* would be tried for his corruption along with another accused. But what i wonder is that when will i be able to see sp*rs going into administration under the best manager that the entire of england has to offer 🙂

  2. Welcome back, Tony.

    What makes it possible to go into more detail regarding the Mr Storrie trial now? I presume the super injunction is still in effect?

  3. Would it be a coincidence if Sp*rs will now get a few dodgy decisions their way! Just wondering about coincidences and keeping a national team manager happy, just wondering is all!

  4. Wouldn’t it be a coincidence if Harry went for the england job and spurs ended up in big debt, relegated and even more bitter?
    It was worth a carling cup and 2 top 4 finishes!

  5. Think you are very right to wonder that johnw.
    I know very little about the processes of uk law but does anyone know why the judge asked for a unanimous verdict over arry? Is this normal? To me this hugely lessened any chance of a conviction.

  6. Harry as the England manager would be great for Arsenal fans if the coincidences continue! Tottenham – in debt and relegation, England and the rest of the world will see how horrible Harry really is as well! It’s a win-win for us! Let the good times roll!

  7. if Dirty H says “go ahead, make my day” and becomes coach of all-England, surely it’ll mean that the economy will go straight to belly up. Thought for food, in’it?

  8. Tony welcome back to Blighty and to normality?

    With the evidence presented at THAT trial and the Judge informed the jury that IF Redknapp was found Guilty, then the jury must also find Mandaric guilty. There could be only one verdict and that was NOT GUILTY for Mr Mandaric. It is obvious now that HMRC used a “tiddler” Redknapp to catch Mandaric with tax evasion! With a guilty verdict, the HMRC could reopen the Mandaric tax files back to year ZERO! Please note the wording.

    As a matter of interest where does this leave the likes of certain football reporters working for The Daily Telegraph?? Asthick as a 6 planks of wood, as Sir Bobby Robson once elegantly phrased as 2 planks.

  9. If I was arry, i would not touch england. The media love him now, but a couple bad results, they might start looking into a few things. Regarding his relationship with the media, arry would do well to consider the words of mr p Oakley et al…”don’t forget it’s me who put you where you are now and I can put you back there too……..” ok, arry may not have been a waitress in a cocktail bar, but you get my drift…

    On another note, just announced that Rangers applying to go into administration, a horrendous situation for what should be a massive club

  10. For what it’s worth, Sp*rs have played some great football this year and ‘arry deserves some credit for that.

    It is barely credible, however, that any club would give him free reign over their transfers etc., given his track record and the consequent financial circumstances of his clubs. The same should be said for England, too. Levy must be confident that he can control his manager.

  11. I think the Spurs situation is unlikely to go sour in the near term. After all, unless someone cripples Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, they could get £60m+ for the pair of them. The most likely thing to stymie them would be needing to raise £100m to build the new stadium and doing it by selling their best, players, setting in train a spiral toward mediocrity at just the time they need to fill a spanking new stadium costing presumably a similar amount to the Emirates.

    As for clubs Harry Redknapp has been associated with going belly up, well: Bournemouth will always exist on a hand-to-mouth existence – simply isn’t a big enough fan base to become big. You only need a bad season or two and the wrong player contracts and you have a recipe for problems.

    Southampton, I think has been documented as a club with all kinds of fishy goings on re the Channel Islands and Rupert Lowe. They do seem to have found some decent owners, assuming the son of Markus Liebherr is as reputable as his father. They seem to have an excellent manager and are doing pretty well.

    Thing with someone like Harry Redknapp was that the range of clubs he could work from, assuming he stayed down south, was fairly limited. The only ones he hasn’t touched are Reading, Wycombe, Brighton, Swindon and maybe a Bristol Club. He wasn’t a top, top manager until recently, so you often don’t have the luxury of saying ‘I’ll only work for a club as well run as Arsenal’. He needed to work, wanted to work and so I guess he was prepared to work where there were vacancies. I don’t think he’s responsible for the financial mismanagement of Directors, is he?

    You could of course make an argument that he was too good a manager for those clubs, so they over-extended financially to follow the dream he could deliver. That’s something to take up with Directors. If they say they have the money, the manager will believe them. You’re too soft on Directors at this site and too hard on managers. Fiduciary responsibility lies in the Board Room, since it is there that the accounts are signed off and there that relationships with the bank manager reside.

    The conspiracy theory is that Arsenal want to stick the knife into Spurs and so the best thing to do is to lure their manager away to England, sell their best players and bring in a manager who’ll run a tight ship whilst they build a stadium. Losing Champions League football along the way.

    I must say if I were Harry Redknapp, I’d think carefully about staying at Spurs. Great team if it stays together, I’m sure he’s on a good salary and he can work every day with the players, something he likes to do.

    If he wants something more relaxing, more akin to working part-time being semi-retired, England fits the bill. But it must be a bit ironic for Luka Modric being asked to stay at Spurs only to see his manager bugger off the next summer. Unless of course some superstar manager is coming in in the summer…….

    You might like to ask a few questions about who drew up the line of questioning for the CPS in court: if what was reported was anything like accurate, I could wipe the floor with them, according to those I submitted my line of questioning to. If only I had a law degree, I could demand a pupillage tomorrow!

  12. @Rhys:

    You could also ask the same questions about who came up with that ridiculous “I don’t know how to read” defense. And I’ve already given my opinion of the media coverage and what it suggested. In fact, pretty much every aspect of this trial suggests a lack of seriousness and a foregone conclusion, in my opinion. Which is backed up by what Tony just reported in this excellent article.

  13. @Rhys:

    While you may be correct that Redknapp is not culpable for the financial mismanagement of directors, that does not relieve him of his culpability for direct complicity with the same.

    Perhaps you should ask why it is that owners and directors who have this sort of agenda seem to continually gravitate towards Redknapp as a manager?

    As for whether Redknapp will leave for England or stay at Spurs… I don’t know. It would be interesting to follow the odds on this one.

  14. Loads of stuff this evening saying the spuds have eden hazard on a pre contract, if there is any truth in it, they are getting money from somewhere! This would be manna from heaven for the AAA

  15. Kentetsu

    I haven’t really gone into all the details, beyond the simple reporting of the fact that there was a court case and Storrie was found not guilty. The details of that trial, and why he was found not guilty are not covered here.

    I honestly don’t know if the injunction is completely lifted or not, but I am playing safe by not discussion the details of the trial.

  16. Off subject.
    Tony looking at pictures of Per Metersackers ankle today I wondered was there any clear standards off how a pitch should be looked after by EPL teams.

    I look at wigan sunderland and some others and wonder how they are let away with playing on crap pitches especialy when most people think they are doing it on purpose to give themselves an advantage.

    If your an EPL team you should be good enough to compete on a level playing field ? excuse the pun.
    They go and spend every penny they get on transfers but cant be bothered with the pitch maintenance.

    Has this subject been touched on before ? and why are teams let away with it ?

  17. Tony, Just to add to that is there a chart where pitches are ranked to play on worst pitch each year and best etc ? If so who judges them and who checks that pitches are up to standard.

  18. I am not a lawyer, but I believe the standard of proof in a criminal trial is “beyond reasonable doubt” but in a civil case is “the balance of probabilities”. I’m sure one of your readers will correct me if I’m wrong?

    Re England, I don’t believe the FA have much choice. If ‘Arry is available but someone else gets the job the press will crucify them if they have just a couple of bad results. I think ‘Arry would have a longer grace period. Whether that is long enough for him is unclear? But unless he explicitly turned the job down or otherwise ruled himself out, I sure would not want to be the guy given the gig…

    Anyway, it all seems to be coalescing towards ‘Arry only taking over at the end of the domestic season. I’m sure our friends from N17 would want to know ASAP in the close season to line up a replacement.

  19. Redgooner, I think there are standards for pitches, a two tier system, that being standards that certain teams provide when we play at them, as opposed to the standard of pitches they put out when utd visit

  20. Well, Mick McCarthy is now available to coach England. 🙂

    Gosh, how is the UK going to develop managers, if this keeps going on? Yes, Wolves have had a bad string of luck this year. Arsenal has had bad strings of luck this year as well. If Wolves are firing McCarthy because Wolves could get relegated, they are full of it. At this point, the odds are that Wolves WILL be relegated. And it probably doesn’t matter who is the manager the rest of the season.

    Bad season’s happen. Most players (from the UK) in the EPL are not that skilled, there seem to be a whole bunch who feel that if they run up against a skilled team, just kick the hell out of them. The ref will let you get away with, because “we are men”. The route out is developing skilled players. Either you get a youth program in place, and you make an effort to NOT sell every good player you develop, or you get a big load of money and you go buy players.

    Wolves had a good core. Yes, getting relegated is a bother. Keep the core together, and there is a good chance to get promoted in a year. So, you only miss one year in the EPL.

    I’m not going to feel too bad about Wolves, as my impression is that there is too much of the “we’ll just kick the other team” there.

    But it might be interesting to see McCarthy managing England.

  21. See where you are coming from Gordon, but a lot of English managers just seem so limited and one dimensional to me. Not all, but so many. Think the likes of big mick could learn a thing or two from the likes of Swansea or even norwich, both have youngish managers from these isles, but managers who think a little outside the doctrines of charles Hughes. Maybe many would not agree, but I would like to see hoddle given another crack at management, it seemed to me he knew how to make a team play.

  22. Very interesting article Tony. I thought it was strange that Capello resigned almost simultaneously with Redknapp being found not guilty – another coincidence?

  23. Along with people saying ‘well he’s got away with it, hasn’t he’. Lot’s of people have been asking ‘what’s in it’ for Houdini. Well I had a great chat with a taxi driver (Crystal Palace supporter, but still a thoroughly decent chap). We came up with the following nice little earners…

    1. The FA now demand that their doctors check players who hand in sick notes for friendlies, so Houdini could make other interested parties (betting syndicates/newspapers/other rival clubs) aware of injuries even when the player’s club would rather it kept quiet.

    2. Access all areas to all clubs. Pretty sure he will get to see and learn about great exciting players coming through academies first hand. I am pretty sure that is of monetary value to someone.

    3. Who would turn down all those offers of a free lunch? And sponsor advertising events?

    4. Of course only a wild hypothetical and silly idea, but he could play middleman. So for example a player could be advised that it would be in the interest of their England career to move clubs. Houdini could even suggest a particular club that would love to have them and the player should seriously consider it. Now this would be very hard to prove as tapping up, rather than ‘an arm round the shoulder’ management style that he is known for. Though I am sure the player’s new club would show appreciation some how.

    5. The papers wouldn’t need to bug phones or use private investigators when you have a man on the inside telling you about bust-ups, and player problems.

    6. Good seats at all the big games, even if their isn’t an Englishman in the starting line up. He can always claim later on that he thought ‘player x’ would be involved in the game.

    7. and of course the obvious reason – being paid a lot more, to do a lot less.

    Yes, it was a long journey, but you try getting from one end of the city to the other during rush hour!

  24. Good points Gooner Gal. Also Houdini could just be the man needed to form close personal ties and understandings, in the national interest of course, with those unfortunate and much maligned officials in FIFA etc..

  25. @ bjtgooner – yes, you could be right as I could see him getting on well with Bladder and having a great understanding of each others life motivations.

  26. Arry, you have to love im! If reports are true, he wants scholes back, he will not drop his relative, lamps, Scottie Parker will be first choice, which, even if he is fit, would mean no place for our jack. Interesting. England need to rid themselves of a problem causing old guard, and do a Germany and bring in some youth. Everything I have heard about redknapp, and everything I am now reading suggests arry is the last person in the world to trust any youth.
    England , Barry , terry, cole, lamps, milner, carrick, crouch, Parker, even an unfit Steve g, can you imagine what Spain germany or others could do to the now one paced and in some cases, out of form team he will pick? The media hyenas will surely soon gather…believe me, and I stand to be corrected, but I believe arry is not brave enough to pick the youth we need to put behind the divisions in the current England team

  27. @ Mandy Dodd, I think your right about the Euro’s but there will be a lot of players who will retire after this tournament. In the same way that Hammers claim they won the ’66 World Cup for England, I think WC 2014 will be Arsenal’s new golden era. The FA and their sponsors seem overly eager to associate themselves with Arsenal and so who every is manager in a couple of years will be calling up Theo, Jack, Gibbs, Alex OC and other potential players like Toral/Jenkinson/Afobe/Yennaris.

  28. Wow, there has been a lot going on today in football.

    Portsmouth – Administration…again?

    Rangers – Administration….after months of denial by the owner that there were money troubles, the SPL needs Rangers.

    Wolves – sack Mick McCathy after his team who let him down when they gave up yesterday after 60mins….I had no idea that the touted Alan Curbishley was considered an upgrade for Wolves!

    Man C – send an SOS to Tevez and he answered, no matter the positive spin, Mancini has egg on his face and I am pretty sure Tevez has got his backdated pay and bonus. Player power just got stronger.

    Liverpool – someone with access to a computer keeps issuing statements in absentia for Dalglish and Suarez. I don’t believe the sincerity of it until they both do interview reiterating the statements.

    Arsenal – (1) despite our haters this season who thought we would be dead and buried by now in a relegation fight, we are about to be on TV quite a bit over the next month in many big games. I said it at the start of this season, this particular version of Arsenal have backbone. No spineless players and no one has gone into hiding, everyone is busting a gut for the win. Only weak ‘supporters’ are letting the club down at the moment.

    (2) The home leg of the champions league game tickets seem to be rare expensive comodities, even though I know there about 60,000 of them out there.C’mon people!!!!

  29. Two additional thoughts.
    Whose money was it that Mandaric paid to the Rosie47 account?
    If it was Portsmouths it materially affected the Clubs inability to pay both their players and the taxman.
    And if Redknapp was regularly paid a cut of the profits on the sale of players (a practice which at least Graham Taylor considers to be totally wrong) where did the other payments go for all of the other players he moved on? Did they go into his own British account and get declared to HMRC or are there many other ‘Rosies’ dotted around the tax havens of the world?
    If so, does the taxman know about them and, if he does, when will he choose to reveal that fact?

  30. Gooner Gal,
    As this would be a new turn, how is it that “The FA and their sponsors seem overly eager to associate themselves with Arsenal”? And would this not augur a discernibly easier time (now or to come) from the refs on the pitch? And if so, perhaps fewer injuries from non-called kick-em’s? Also, who are the FA’s sponsors?

  31. Is it just me or is this not all leading to Spuds being named new tenant/owner of the Olympic stadium after ‘Arry is named England manager? Based on some of the headlines that have been displayed, would anyone be surprised if Mourinho is named Spuds’ manager after ‘Arry? The stars sure seem to be lining up that way …

  32. @Mandy Dodd – I may really be tempeted to watch this “dad’s army team” in the Euros – I could do with another good laugh .I had a laugh riot in the last WC( vs USA & Germany ).
    I also hope that not too many of our youthlings be included as to keep them safe and injury free for next season.
    I don’t think that ‘Arry will take the England job till after the Euros but may serve in some capacity to advice/guide the intrim managerial team.
    @ Gooner Gal @11.51pm – scary senario indeed .
    @ Wooby – interesting thought .

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