Mandaric claims payments to Redknapp were voluntary

MILAN MANDARIC, the ex-Portsmouth chairman accused of paying bungs to Harry Redknapp, has described payments he made to Redknapp’s bank account as being “something entirely different” from football.

Redknapp and Mandaric are accused of two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp was manager of Portsmouth. It is alleged that the pair fraudulently concealed payments totalling $295,000 (£188,000) from HM Revenue & Customs by paying the money into a Monaco bank account. They deny the charges.

The prosecution alleges that the payments were made in connection with Redknapp’s employment and that consequently tax should have been paid on the transaction.

Mandaric told the court that the payments were made because he wanted to do “something special” for Rednknapp because he was a friend.

“This is entirely my voluntary thanks without contract. Something special for my friend from football into friendship territory,” Mandaric told the court the BBC reports.

According to Mandaric the first payment of $145,000 made to Redknapp was “seed money” to build the former Portsmouth manager an investment portfolio. Mandaric claims to have later paid $150,000 into Redknapp’s account to cover losses after the investments performed poorly.

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