Monday 23 October 2017

Paul Hayward: It took a trial for us to see what football so often lacks: transparency

Paul Hayward

This was a trial for our times in which all the modern demons showed up at Southwark Crown Court: the bonus culture, offshore dealings, football managers taking cuts from transfers, police raids snapped by tipped-off 'Sun' photographers and the 'News of the World' speaking from beyond its grave.

It brought us Monaco accounts named after dogs, an admission of near-illiteracy by the Tottenham Hotspur manager, a road movie in which Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric buddied-up on drives to the outposts of English football's second tier and courtroom clashes that drew the "holy Bible" and staring cops into the drama. Not forgetting, of course, the severance talks between Mr Redknapp and Portsmouth in the Bournemouth Little Chef.

Like Mr Redknapp's managerial career, his trial on charges of tax evasion was vivid theatre, but with deeply serious sub-plots. The first was always whether the highest-placed club manager in the English game would be at liberty to take over from Fabio Capello after Euro 2012. His acquittal -- and the resignation of Mr Capello last night -- answer that.

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