Redknapp said: I write like a two-year-old, ‘tax dodge’ jury told

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London. PA
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London. PA
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Football boss Harry Redknapp denied tax dodging by telling police “I couldn’t even fill a team sheet in”, a court has been told.

The manager also said he struggles with literacy, adding: “I write like a two-year-old and I can’t spell.”

He also claimed he was “the most disorganised person in the world” during interviews with City of London detectives in 2009.

In tape recordings played at Southwark Crown Court, Redknapp said: “I can’t work a computer, I don’t know what an email is, I can’t, I have never sent a fax and I’ve never even sent a text message.”

He added: “I have a big problem, I can’t write so I don’t keep anything. I am the most disorganised person, I am ashamed to say, in the world.”

Redknapp told officers he had not seen his pay slip in years as he said: “You talk to anybody at the football club. I don’t write. I couldn’t even fill a team sheet in.”

Under questioning over the Monaco account at the heart of the £189,000 bung allegation, the Tottenham manager added: “I pay a fortune to my accountant to look after me you know.

“He writes all the cheques for me and my wife. He pays my bills. He runs my life basically.”

Redknapp told officers in June 2009 that the Sun, for which he produces regular columns, “hadn’t paid me for 18 months”.

He said: “I’ve never wrote a letter in my life. I couldn’t write a letter. I write like a two-year-old and I can’t spell.”

Redknapp added: “Why am I gonna fiddle 20, 30 whatever thousand pounds of income tax when I walk away six months later from £200,000 that I was due?”

The tape was played out after jurors heard Redknapp made “disastrous” business decisions and lost £250,000 in a “very unsuccessful” takeover bid at Oxford United.

Redknapp lost every penny as part of a loan to take control of Oxford, HSBC executive Alan Hills said.

Redknapp’s barrister John Kelsey-Fry QC used the example to deny prosecution claims that the Tottenham manager was a “hard-headed businessman”.

He asked Hills at Southwark Crown Court in London: “Do you remember an occasion when he was persuaded to loan, at very short notice, £250,000 to buy Oxford United and that money just disappeared into the mist?”

Hills replied: “I have never seen it, yes.”

The hearing was adjourned until today.