Tottenham Hotspur manager, Harry Redknapp, has been cleared on Wednesday by a court in London of tax evasion charges after a long investigation into allegations of financial corruption in British football.
Redknapp, who is tipped to be the next England team manager, was charged with cheating the public revenue in relation to payments totalling $295, 000 made to his bank account in Monaco during his time as manager of Portsmouth.
After hearing the verdict, Redknapp who had to fight back tears of relief, said that the strain of the investigation had been “horrendous”.
Since being cleared, Redknapp applauded the Tottenham directors and supporters for backing both him and former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric. ”I have to thank the fans, especially, the fans of Tottenham. The other night, the Wigan game, was the most moving I’ve ever felt for me personally to have them singing my name throughout the game,” he said.
The verdict clears the way for Redknapp to replace Fabio Capello as manager of the England team when the Euro 2012 tournament comes to an end this summer when the Italian is due to step down. Capello’s imminent replacement comes after clashes between him and the Football Association who recently stripped John Derry of his English captaincy.
The tax authorities have defended their actions stating that, ”We’ve no regrets about pursuing this case because it was vitally important that the facts were put before the jury for their consideration,” said Chris Martin, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigations at HM Revenue and Customs.