Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has been accused of using a bank account under the name of his pet dog in order to allegedly receive $295,000 which he had no intention of declaring for tax purposes, a court heard on Monday.
The Tottenham boss, who has been widely touted as the most viable candidate to succeed Fabio Capello as the next England manager, was allegedly paid "bungs or offshore bonuses" by the former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric, Southwark Crown Court has heard, in a bid to share profits from player sales during his tenure at Fratton Park.
Redknapp allegedly flew to Monaco in April 2002 in the aftermath of Peter Crouch's £4.5 million sale from Portsmouth to Aston Villa, opening an account using the identity "Rosie 47", the name of his pet and the year of his birth.
Jurors were told that Redknapp was entitled to 10% of net profits from transfers when he was appointed director of football at Portsmouth in June 2001, but this figure halved when he was appointed manager in March 2002.
The 64-year-old, of Poole, Dorset, was entitled to £115,473 under the new terms of his contract from the sale of Crouch having bought the England international for £1.25 million, but this figure would have been doubled had his contract remained unchanged.
The prosecution allege Mandaric agreed that he would secretly receive "off-record" payments hidden from tax authorities in order to make up this 5% discrepancy in Redknapp's new deal.
It was heard that in 2002, Mandaric paid $145,000 into the account and then on 13 January 2003, $100,000 moved from "Rosie 47" to a company in Miami called First Star International, following a request from Redknapp.
The prosecution claim First Star International was a personal account of Mandaric and on 21 April 2004 he wrote a personal cheque from it to Redknapp, worth a reputed $150,000.
John Black QC opened the prosecution's case by informing jurors that "both parties must have known" they were avoiding taxes, suggesting Redknapp wrote to the aforementioned Monaco bank in 2008 and requested the remaining $207,000 be transferred to his London HSBC account.
On Monday, the first day of a two-week trial at Southwark Crown Court, Black told the Jury (which is quoted in The Times) that Redknapp "flew to Monaco for the specific purpose of setting up a secret account, into which the off-the-record payments could be received,"
He added: "This was quite deliberate and was intended to obscure and to render less transparent the nature of the money payments. The payments were bungs or off-record that the parties had no intention of declaring for tax, and indeed never did."
The aforementioned figures were allegedly never mentioned to HM Revenue and Customs officials following an investigation into his transfer dealings at West Ham United after a probe between January 2004 and October 2006.
Jurors were informed that the bank account "Rosie 47" came to light during Lord Stevens' enquiry into illicit payments in football.
Redknapp and Mandaric deny two counts of cheating public revenue.
The first charge alleges that Mandaric paid £93,300 into a bank account opened by Redknapp in Monaco, in order to allegedly avoid paying income tax and national insurance between April 1, 2002 and November 28, 2007.
The second charge is for the same offence between May 1, 2004, and November 28 2007, when a sum of £97,000 was allegedly paid by Mandaric into the aforementioned Monaco bank account.
The trial continues.