Harry Redknapp rumours – Lucky bastard.
It’s well documented that Redknapp got found not guilty of all charges in his court case for tax evasion yesterday, bringing to light that “being forgetful”, “not good at business” and “writing like a two year old” are all good grounds to not pay tax on money received from an employer which is paid directly into a secret bank account that you have set up in a place known for being shady and famous for tax dodgers.
As a result we now have to witness ‘Arry play the crowds and the media like a trained conductor leading an orchestra. In his statement on leaving the court, he seemed to change the length of time the whole thing has been hanging over his head, saying “3 years” and then changing it to “5 years” * before finishing his sentence (and let’s not dwell on the type of sentence he should have been struggling with.)
Redknapp adopts his “face like a human landslide” pose.
I guess I should point out that Redknapp has never been found guilty of tax-evasion, or of bung-taking. Two very serious accusations that have hounded – and no doubt will continue to hound Redknapp as he continues on his way. Quite how he has avoided these is beyond me. Wherever Harry Redknapp goes, the Harry Redknapp rumours follow.
Even without actual facts and figures to prove things one way or another, you only have to go back 12 years when he was manager at West Ham. Rumours even back then were rife that he was on the take, none more so when the club suddenly started signing older players on long-term contracts, or low-quality players on high wages (a risky strategy to undertake for any club with a player, much less a cash-strapped club like West Ham to take with more than one player).
The rumours at the time were that Redknapp was receiving a kick-back from various places. It’s worth remembering that Redknapp wasn’t highly paid at West Ham – certainly nowhere near the level of millions that he is paid to manage today. Yet somehow he was still able to afford to buy property at Sandbanks, one of the most expensive places in the UK.
I’ve no doubt that, on his meagre salary at the time, he had a perfectly acceptable way of paying for this, that was in no way linked to anything illegal or immoral. It’s just that the rumours seem to answer those questions so well.
Hours later and Capello resigns from the England team. Knowing that the FA have absolutely no backbone at all, this is a disastrous turn of events for England. Redknapp works well at Spurs (as a West Ham fan, it pains me to say) simply because the board have a tight reign over him – something that wouldn’t happen at England.
Ultimately this means that we will probably see Redknapp lead the national team in Euro 2012. Redknapp – for all of his alleged and actual faults – is a good man manager. He will inspire a team of egos to play well, though I doubt very much that he will win Euro 2012 and in some ways, given my distaste for the guy, I’ll be pleased if he failed at the first hurdle.
Not that failure would affect Redknapp. The press would still love him. The majority of fans would not know (or not care) about his shady past and everyone seems to be enamoured with this wheeler-dealer character – a character that Redknapp was always so eager to play up to until recently when he had a hissy fit at a reporter and insisted he was a football manager rather than a wheeler dealer.
Redknapp himself would make someone a scapegoat for any loss (“If Player X had put that chance away, we’d be through. Even my missus could have scored that…” etc). At the same time, his inevitable nepotism would not be called into question as he banged in about how Lampard made a fantastic U-21 captain (back in the 1990s for fuck’s sake!) which is why he had appointed him as captain for the finals, and that he led superbly despite everyone seeing that all Lampard had done was taken twenty shots with a return of only one goal.
Come the inevitable defeat, we’d cut to Sky who, with ‘Arry’s son Jamie on the commentary and analysis team, they’d be hard pushed to ask awkward questions. Viewers would be told how a gritty England display had led to loss through unfortunate means.
‘Arry would pocket millions for failing, though this time it would be ok as the failure came through an English manager, and he’d eventually waltz off into the sunset, ready to find another sucker to pay him millions.
God bless you ‘Arry Redknapp. With Capello gone, Redknapp is a shoo-in to replace him. As you may have guessed, that’s not the type of shoeing I’d like to see him receive.
*This is done from memory. I haven’t checked whether he did or did not change halfway through, and quite frankly I don’t care.