Harry Redknapp had sole responsibility for the Monaco bank account under the combined name of his dog and birth date, ‘Rosie 47’, into which money was paid by Milan Mandaric, Southwark Crown Court heard today.
Jurors were told that the only signature on records for the account at the centre of £189,000 ‘bung’ – or off-the-record bonus – allegations belonged to the Tottenham Hotspurs manager.
Giving evidence via videolink, David Cusdin, vice president of HSBC in Monaco between 2000 and 2005, said that he was aware Redknapp had visited the bank in 2002 to open a "non-advisory account" and confirmed that a client would have to be present to open it. He told the court: "In this case, it is a single person on the account…one signature on the account."
Cusdin added: "I was certainly aware of his visit – it was quite possible that I didn’t open the account, it was one of my team – but I was certainly aware of the visit".
He also said that co-defendant Mandaric, former chairman and owner of Portsmouth Football Club, likewise held an account at the bank and that they had met on several occasions, adding that: "Mr Mandaric, is a perfect gentleman… he would always ring prior to the visit".
The prosecution has alleged that Mandaric made payments totalling £189,000 into the Rosie 47 account when he was chairman and Redknapp was manager at Portsmouth. Both men are facing two charges of tax evasion and has been accused of “deliberately and dishonestly” cheating the public revenue during their time at the Football Club.
But the court also heard today that Redknapp had previously told police officers: "I am not going to fiddle taxes. I pay my accountant a fortune to look after me. I am completely and utterly disorganised. I write like a two-year-old and I can’t spell."
Jurors were likewise told how he had made "disastrous" business decisions, including losing £250,000 in an unsuccessful takeover bid for Oxford United.