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Barcelona about an hour ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 23, 2012

Redknapp on trial for tax evasion

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp appeared in the dock on Monday to face trial for tax evasion.

Redknapp, tipped as a future England manager, denies two counts of cheating the public revenue when he was manager of Portsmouth Football Club.

He appeared behind bullet-proof glass at Southwark Crown Court to face charges alongside former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric.

A host of relatives, including Redknapp's former footballer son Jamie, looked on from the public gallery as proceedings began.

The first charge alleges that, between April 1 2002 and November 28 2007, Mandaric paid $145,000 (£93,100) into a bank account held by Redknapp in Monaco, to avoid paying income tax and National Insurance.

The second charge for the same offence relates to a sum of $150,000 (£96,300) allegedly paid by Mandaric to the same account between May 1 2004 and November 28 2007.

Redknapp, 64, who underwent minor heart surgery last year to unblock his arteries, is the most successful English manager in the modern game, having led Portsmouth to FA Cup success and Spurs to last season's Uefa Champions League quarter-finals.

Serbian Mandaric is now chairman of Sheffield Wednesday, having previously worked at Leicester.

Redknapp, of Panorama Drive, Poole, Dorset, is represented by John Kelsey-Fry QC, while Lord Ken Macdonald QC is counsel for Mandaric, of Stretton Hall, Oadby, Leicestershire. The trial is due to last two weeks.

Judge Anthony Leonard told jurors to "leave prejudice or favour behind'' as a jury of eight men and four women were sworn in.

"The defendants are two well-known personalities within the world of football,'' he said.

He said football "almost overwhelms other aspects in life'' as he ordered jurors to focus solely on the charges.

"It can prejudice if you hold such allegiances or prejudices towards clubs that the defendants were or are presently involved with.''

Jurors were also told to inform the judge if they had listened to a show on talkSPORT radio on November 17 last year. The prosecution will open its case at 2pm GMT on Monday, the judge added.

"This case will attract publicity,'' Mr Leonard added. "My advice is that you must not read or listen to these reports.''