The Telegraph continues publishing the results of their investigation into corruption in soccer—which has already resulted in England manager Sam Allardyce losing his job—this time taking a detour into gambling.
The Telegraph’s reporters, posing as “representatives of a Far East firm that wanted to break into English football’s billion-pound transfer market,” recorded video of current Jordan and former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp joking about finding out his players had gambled on their own match:
Redknapp was filmed by undercover reporters discussing a match on which “the lads” had “all had a spread bet” on the scoreline. His players allegedly bet on themselves to win the match, and one of them allegedly told a football agent to “remortgage your house” because the odds were favourable.
Redknapp replied: “They battered us. They murdered us early on.” He added: “At half time I took [a player] off and put, erm, [another player on] and they’re all looking at me all the lads ’cause I didn’t know they’d had a bet, ’cause they was all choked, they’d all had a spread bet and everything.”
As The Telegraph notes, though betting on games is against English FA rules, there is no evidence that Redknapp participated, or otherwise did anything illegal. And so when contacted by the Telegraph and asked to comment on his statements, Redknapp offered a blasé reply, perhaps appropriately:
When The Telegraph contacted Redknapp to put the allegation to him, he admitted becoming aware of his players betting on the match, but said: “Who gives a s—- about that?”
Told it would have been against FA rules, he replied: “Oh would it? Oh, OK. But not at that time I don’t think it was, was it? They weren’t betting on the other team, they were having a bet on their own team.”
This is far from the first time Redknapp has found himself on the periphery of shady dealings. In 2007, while managing Portsmouth, he and other club officials were arrested as part of an investigation into fraud and false accounting. The raid was later ruled illegal, and the police were forced to pay Redknapp damages, as well as his legal fees. Five years later Redknapp went to trial for tax evasion, and was ultimately found not guilty.