Tuesday 6 December 2016

Man who was self-made in Silicon Valley is proved right yet again

Published 09/02/2012 | 05:00

The two men who hugged in the dock of Court Six yesterday have had their differences -- Milan Mandaric called Harry Redknapp's move from Portsmouth to Southampton a "bitter divorce" -- but their friendship has remained intact throughout years of suspicion and accusation.

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Mr Mandaric (73), the former chairman of Portsmouth FC, is a man who has made a habit of getting things right, although he has explained his arrival at a multibillion fortune established during the Silicon Valley boom of the 1970s as "being in the right place at the right time".

Two years ago when he was charged with the offence of which he was yesterday cleared, Mr Mandaric described the case against him as "ridiculous".

"There is no wrongdoing here," he declared. He has been proved right again.

Mr Mandaric's personal journey is remarkable, beginning in the mountainous Croatian region of Lika.

His business career began when he took over his father's engineering business before leaving Marshal Tito-ruled Yugoslavia for Switzerland and then the US. His breakthrough came when his fledgling company won a contract to make keyboards for Apple.

In 1998, he paid £5m to buy Portsmouth and Mr Redknapp arrived in 2002. Mr Mandaric was popular among fans before his decision to sell to Alexandre Gaydamak for £47m (€56m) in 2006.

In 2007, Mr Mandaric bought Leicester City, selling out three years later to a Thai consortium. In December 2010, he bought Sheffield Wednesday for £1 (€1.20), saving the club from administration.

Irish Independent

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