James Lawton: These payments may be legal and above board, Harry ... but are they right?
IT is no part of the charge against Harry Redknapp that he had an arrangement with his former club Portsmouth granting him percentage payments on any transfer fees received for players he had signed and helped to develop to the point of profit.
Such deals between managers, and directors of football, and their clubs are commonplace in the English game, and not criminal in the slightest, of course. Despite this, a debate has been provoked by the revelation of the prosecution in the Redknapp case that he profited by nearly £200,000 from the £4.5m sale of Peter Crouch to Aston Villa in 2002.
But is this type of payment good for the game? The crux of the issue is a potential for conflict of interest. There is no suggestion that there was any potential conflict of interest in Redknapp accepting the payment which he and his club had agreed. However, the practice in general does open up the issue.