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Harry Redknapp Lost £250,000 On Investment In Oxford United

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Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp lost £250,000 in a bid to save his friend's management job at Oxford United, a court heard today.

The Tottenham Hotspur manager initially told Jim Smith "What's it got to do with me?" after being approached about an American takeover bid at the club.

But when Mr Smith replied "Harry, it would help as I'm the manager", Redknapp agreed to part with the cash, jurors heard.

Mr Smith said a "mega-rich young boy" had 40 hours to complete the deal, Redknapp told police in 2009.

In interviews played out at Southwark Crown Court, Redknapp told officers that the money disappeared during the bid "18 to 20 months ago".

He added: "He did not buy the club - that's the way I am."

Redknapp also told police "We are givers not takers" as he said "I don't need" to dodge a £30,000 tax bill.

He claimed he wrote the Monaco account at the heart of a £189,000 bung allegation "completely out of my life".

Redknapp told officers: "I have not purposely gone out to try to avoid paying income tax", Southwark Crown Court heard.

"I have brought up a fantastic family," he added.

"To try and nick a few quid off the income tax... Why? I am not into that. I don't need that. I would rather give you a hundred grand than nick a few quid off you.

"That's how I live. I have got a golf day tomorrow... I give 15,000 tomorrow to Leukaemia Busters."

The soccer boss added: "We are givers, not takers."

Redknapp said Mr Smith had asked him over the phone for the Oxford United cash.

Mr Smith is said to have told Redknapp "some mega-rich young boy" - Nick Merry, who used to play for Oxford - had come over and was "about to buy the club".

But he only had 48 hours to complete the deal and could not get the £250,000 he needed in time so Mr Smith asked Redknapp if he could lend him the money.

Redknapp said: "I said 'Jim, what's it got to do with me?' He said 'Harry... it'll help me, I'm the manager. If he buys it I've got a job still."

"I lend him £250,000, I ring up the bank and said 'Look, I said, Jim's said you've got the money in five days, Harry. You've got my word' - that's 20 months ago and the guy didn't buy the club and that's how that's how I am.

"I can tell you 10 stories like that."

Both Redknapp, 64, of Poole, Dorset, and Milan Mandaric, from Oadby, Leicestershire, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp was manager of Portsmouth Football Club.

The first charge of cheating the public revenue alleges that between April 1 2002 and November 28 2007 Mandaric paid 145,000 US dollars (£93,100) into the account.

The second charge for the same offence relates to a sum of 150,000 US dollars (£96,300) allegedly paid between May 1 2004 and November 28 2007.

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