Redknapp denies corruption involvement
Filed Under: Sports, World | Posted: 11/29/2007 at 10:43AM
Comments | Region: British Virgin Islands
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp has insisted the City of London Police investigation into corruption in football – which led to his arrest – does not "directly concern" him.
Redknapp was one of five men, also including Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie, to be arrested by detectives from the anti-corruption unit yesterday.
Leicester chairman Milan Mandaric, formerly in the same role at Portsmouth, Rangers midfielder Amdy Faye and agent Willie McKay were also arrested, it was widely reported on Wednesday night.
City of London Police interviewed the men, after arresting them on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.
Up to 60 officers were involved in searches at eight addresses at locations across the UK – including Redknapp’s luxury home in Poole, Dorset.
Speaking as he returned home, Redknapp said: "We all helped the police with their inquiries. But it doesn’t directly concern me – it’s other people involved.
"I’ve been answering questions to help the police. I am not directly concerned with their inquiries."
Redknapp confirmed he had been arrested and added: "They have to arrest you to talk to you, for you to be in the police station. I think that’s the end of it."
Redknapp confirmed that as well as himself, Mandaric and Storrie were also arrested.
Speaking outside the police station, Paul Martin, the solicitor representing Redknapp and Storrie, stressed the pair were co-operating with detectives.
"They have been assisting the police with inquiries," he said.
"The inquiries do not relate to either of those individuals – they relate to entirely different individuals.
"They are ongoing investigations in relation to those other individuals, and for that reason they are unable to comment further – and there is nothing that they can discuss."
The raids were the most dramatic development yet in an ongoing inquiry by fraud detectives to root out corruption in the national game.
Last year the Football Association brought in former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Stevens and his company, Quest, to carry out a separate inquiry into suspect transfers.
City of London Police would initially confirm only the ages of the arrested men – 69, 60, 55, 48 and 30.
Detectives are believed to be focusing on Faye’s transfers from Auxerre to Portsmouth in August 2003 and Portsmouth to Newcastle in January 2005.
Mandaric was Portsmouth chairman at the time of his arrival to and departure from the south coast club. McKay is believed to have been his agent.
Redknapp was Portsmouth manager when Faye arrived in 2003. The player has since signed for Charlton and joined Rangers on a season-long loan in August.
A Pompey spokesman said: "Portsmouth Football Club can confirm that chief executive Peter Storrie and manager Harry Redknapp have today been asked to help police with their inquiries, concerning a matter dating back to 2003.
"This was prior to the new owner taking control of the club at the beginning of 2006.
"The club is fully supportive of Peter and Harry, who are co-operating fully with City of London Police in this ongoing inquiry.
"Both are playing major roles in the continued success of Portsmouth Football Club."
A City of London Police spokeswoman said: "Five men have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting as part of an ongoing investigation into football corruption."
Last year Redknapp was questioned by the FA over claims he illegally approached a player.
He was secretly filmed as part of a BBC documentary but dismissed the allegations as "farcical".