Harry Redknapp: Fiddle tax? I’d rather pay too much
Harry Redknapp: Gian lận thuế? Tôi thà trả dư hơn là thiếu.
Evening Standard 1 Feb 2012
Harry Redknapp this afternoon denied hiding £189,000 in a Monaco bank account and insisted: “I’d rather (tôi thà) pay too much tax than not enough.”
He said he had never broken the law, apart from a speeding offence (chạy xe quá tốc độ), and insisted he pays every penny he owes to the taxman.
The 64-year-old Spurs boss and former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric deny two charges of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp was manager of the Hampshire club.
Redknapp told a jury (thẩm phán đoàn) at Southwark crown court that he uses the best accountants in London to make sure his affairs are in order. Taking the witness stand for the first time, Redknapp said his accountants “run his life”, adding, “I have always paid my taxes. I’ve always gone to the top people… I’d rather pay too much tax than not enough tax.”
He also said he was still great friends with Mandaric saying there was no one he would rather spend time with. Redknapp said he “hit it off straight away” with Mandaric who offered him the job as Portsmouth’s director of football within an hour of meeting over a cup of tea at a hotel in the New Forest.
Redknapp said: “We had our ups and downs, I was a bit volatile perhaps. There’s no one else I would rather go for dinner with.”
Redknapp provoked laughter when his lawyer John Kelsey-Fry said Redknapp’s success in football was “much to the displeasure” of Mandaric’s lawyer Ken Macdonald.
Redknapp, looking over the rim of his glasses, said: “Well he’s an Arsenal supporter isn’t he.”
The football boss then confirmed he had received a £300,000 “gift” from West Ham for the £18 million transfer of Rio Ferdinand to Leeds United when he was the Hammers boss.
Redknapp said he had referred to it as a “gift” because the club was not contractually obliged to give it to him. In fact a few months earlier he turned down an offer from West Ham chairman Terence Brown to take five per cent of transfer profits telling the chairman he wanted to concentrate on results on the pitch.
Earlier Mandaric said he was insulted by the allegations of tax evasion. He told the court he was worth £100 million at the time and paid £55 million in taxes over six years.
He said “not in a million years” would he have paid £189,000 into the account to avoid taxes.
In heated exchanges, prosecutor John Black, QC, said the tax dodge was “all about Redknapp and he was greedy and wanted more money”.
The barrister asked Mandaric: “That’s the truth isn’t it?”
Mandaric, 73, replied: “Absolutely not true. He was paid millions of pounds. He was paid fairly… there was no issue whatsoever.”
Mandaric said the £189,000 deposited in Monaco “was money that I was going to develop his portfolio” with. He added: “There was never any dialogue saying, ‘let’s try to hide this account’. I am not a wrong person, nobody that knows me would say I would do anything wrong.”
Mandaric added: “We can go over and over, Mr Black. I respect your job and everything but I cannot deviate from the truth. Simple as that.”
Mandaric denied Redknapp was unhappy over disputes on a bonus due after a £2.3 million profit Portsmouth made on the sale of Peter Crouch. “I would not say an unhappy Mr Redknapp, that’s not fair to say,” Mandaric said.
“Overall he was a happy manager.” The trial continues