TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp denied dodging tax on almost £200,000 by telling police he was technologically illiterate, chronically disorganised and “writes like a two-year-old”, a court heard yesterday.
Redknapp, the favourite to be next England coach, added that he did not know how to work a computer, did not know what an email was and had never sent a fax or text message, in a taped interview played to jurors.
The 64-year-old, who is accused of channelling payments totalling £189,400 into an offshore account in the name of his dog in order to avoid tax, explained to detectives that he was utterly reliant on his accountant.
“I can’t work a computer, I don’t know what an email is, I have never sent a fax and I’ve never even sent a text message. I have a big problem, I can’t write so I don’t keep anything. I am the most disorganised person in the world,” he said.
“I pay a fortune to my accountant to look after me. He writes all the cheques for me and my wife. He pays my bills. He runs my life basically. I’ve never wrote a letter in my life. I couldn’t write a letter. I write like a two-year-old and I can’t spell.”
Redknapp was in the dock for the fourth day of the high-profile trial. He and co-accused Milan Mandaric deny charges of cheating the public revenue over two payments allegedly made by ex-Portsmouth chairman Mandaric between 2002 and 2007.
The former Portsmouth manager’s assertions to police were challenged by prosecutors, however, who told Southwark Crown Court Redknapp had sent a fax to his Monaco bank in 2003, signed: “Many thanks for your co-operation, Harry Redknapp”.
David Cusdin, former vice-president of HSBC in Monaco, where Redknapp’s “Rosie 47” account was held, testified via video link that the Spurs manager had opened it personally and was its sole signatory.
Redknapp also told police he turned down a £200,000 pay-off when he left Portsmouth in 2004, the court heard. “Why am I gonna fiddle 20, 30 whatever thousand pounds of income tax when I walk away six months later from £200,000 that I was due?” he said.
The trial continues.