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22 April 2024

Redknapp judge: Soccer might have lost its way

By Agencies

The judge in Harry Redknapp's tax evasion trial told the jury that soccer could have “lost its way'' because the sport has become “so commercial.''

Tottenham manager Redknapp is accused along with Milan Mandaric, his former chairman at Portsmouth, of concealing $295,000 of transfer bonuses in a Monaco bank account to avoid paying taxes in Britain.

Before sending the jury out to consider verdicts, judge Anthony Leonard told them that soccer is an “emotive'' subject that can stir “deep passions or resentment.''

Despite Redknapp and Mandaric being well-known personalities, Leonard said “there are no special rules you will attach to them as a result.''

Redknapp managed Portsmouth at times from 2002-08.

On Monday, the lawyer for Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp said Monday that the use at his tax evasion trial of evidence from Rupert Murdoch's now defunct News of the World tabloid was "repugnant".

Wrapping up the defence case, Redknapp's lawyer attacked prosecutors for relying on a 2009 interview with a journalist from the paper, which was closed in 2011 amid Britain's phone-hacking scandal.

"I do not shrink from suggesting to you it is repugnant to all our basic instincts of fairness in the criminal justice process," defence lawyer John Kelsey-Fry told Southwark Crown Court.