Owls chairman says cash was gift to a friend

Milan Mandaric, arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London, as barristers defending bung allegations against Harry Redknapp and Mr.Mandaric are expected to open their cases. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Milan Mandaric, arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London, as barristers defending bung allegations against Harry Redknapp and Mr.Mandaric are expected to open their cases. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
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Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric – accused of sending bungs to Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp – told a court the financial transfers were gifts to a friend.

Both Redknapp, of Poole, Dorset, and Mandaric, from Oadby, Leicestershire, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp was manager of Portsmouth Football Club and Mandaric was chairman. Mandaric, pictured above, is alleged to have twice paid more than £90,000 into an Monaco account for Redknapp, avoiding tax.

But Mandaric, giving evidence at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, said: “I want to do something special for Harry because he means more to me than a football manager. This was something as a friend.

“If this was something to do with employment, I would have done something entirely different. This is entirely my voluntary thanks without contract. Something special for my friend from football into friendship territory.”