Harry Redknapp told police his home was at risk after he lost millions of pounds in disastrous investments, a court heard yesterday.
The Tottenham football club manager urged detectives to ask his solicitor if he had “ever come across anyone as bad, businesswise”. He said he lost £6m in a property venture in Southsea, Hampshire, and had squandered £250,000 to help his friend Jim Smith keep his managerial job at Oxford United during a possible takeover bid which did not go through.
Redknapp – tipped as a future England boss – also said he had paid £1m in tax in 2008.
During interviews with City of London police, Redknapp said: “I am not a tax fiddler, I am not any kind of tax fiddler, never have been in my life.”
In transcripts read out at Southwark Crown Court, where he faces charges of cheating the public revenue, Redknapp said he had paid £8.5m on property in Southsea.
He said he had a chance to share the investment with a Samir Khan. Redknapp told officers: “I’ve signed a form that says he’s half in, and he ain’t put no money in, and I’ve signed the forms now, you can ask my solicitor in Bournemouth, and they can’t believe that I didn’t read anything.
“I thought he said ‘I’ll meet you half way, I’ll put half in what you put in’.
“He put half in what I put in up to that point and my own money was about two hundred grand, now he’s in for nothing and he has half the profit.
“The only downside is its only worth four million pound now and I’ve done like six million you know, my house is up against it but that’s where I’m at, that’s how useless I am with things, and you can check with my solicitor if you like. I’ll give you my solicitor’s name, you ask him if he’s ever come across anyone as bad businesswise as I am.
Redknapp claimed he wrote the Monaco account at the heart of a £189,000 bung allegation “completely out of my life”.
Redknapp also told officers: “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.”
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 trial continues.