Mandaric payments ‘not bonus’ says Harry

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FOOTBALL boss Harry Redknapp said he asked co-accused Milan Mandaric ‘only once’ about an account into which payments were allegedly made to evade paying tax.

Redknapp fought back tears in court today as he fiercely denied telling the pair’s trial “a pack of lies”.

The Tottenham Hotspur manager and Sheffield Wenesday chairman Mandaric are both on trial at Southwark Crown Court in London, over payments made when the pair were at Portsmouth FC.

Both Redknapp, 64, and co-defendant Milan Mandaric, 73, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue through “bungs” worth £189,000 in a Monaco account. Redknapp said the payments were “one million per cent not my bonus” and the account “was so far from my mind it was unbelievable”.

He told the court he did not tell his accountant about it because “I had nothing to tell him, there was nothing in it”.

Redknapp said he had paid £8 million in taxes “so why bother?”.

“I only asked Mr Mandaric once about the account - the away win at Blackburn (in 2004),” Redknapp said. “He said ‘Disaster, Harry’ - I didn’t ask again.” Redknapp said he plans to repay Mandaric the money.

The trial continues with the prosecution closing speech today.