|photo by jimmyack205||via PhotoRee|
So, two pieces of news to discuss, both inter-related, but neither setting my particular world on fire. It may be a different situation for Spurs' fans, though, as they are the ones who could be most affected by yesterday's twin deveopments. Viz.:
Harry Redknapp was acquitted by a jury in London of all charges stemming from his prosecution for alleged tax evasion. While I profess to be an expert in neither English jurisprudence nor tax matters, I do happen to know one -- or at least I know someone who has an opinion on the matter, which is all that really counts in today's talking head world. For confidentiality reasons, I'm duty bound to keep our expert's name private, but you can call him Rosie.... And here's Rosie's take on the verdict in the Redknapp case:
What a travesty of justice. The defense counsel called an admission by Harry on tape to a newspaper reporter "repugnant to all our basic instincts of fairness." I would like him to explain why a taped admission is "repugnant" in any way, other than that it teed up his client for a conviction. Oh, but that's right, Harry was lying to the paper because. . . . .well, no reason, really, just because he could, whereas with the police he was 100% truthful (despite his first attempt to keep everything under wraps) because, well, there would be no possible motive to obfuscate the issue with the police, would there? I mean, everyone tells the police the truth!
Harry also seemed to have taken the position that he is an idiot of a businessman, but yet he's clever enough to open offshore accounts in tax havens (just a coincidence, I suppose, that he picked Monaco, and not France or the United States) for, ostensibly, tax purposes or portfolio deals, or both, and to be a manager that has built a reputation on clever transfer deals -- thus the "wheeler dealer" moniker (his offense to that remark was always related to this trial).
I also found the "we paid tons of taxes, why would we cheat on these?" to be entirely unpersuasive. Most people that cheat on their taxes pay something, just not everything. I heard the judge instructed the jury that they had to be 100% sure that the defendants did x, y, and z. If that's the standard in Britain, no one is going to get convicted any more. What happened to beyond a reasonable doubt? Weird.
From what I head about what happened, this seems to be slam dunk that the prosecution lost to a celebrity. I think Harry's popularity won the day. He's a great manager, but wow, what an awful story. I would love to hear a person on the jury interviewed; I suspect they would say that they felt about 99% sure he did it, but couldn't get to the 100% number.In a related development, across town yesterday afternoon, Fabio Capello resigned as England Manager. Related, you ask? But of course.... You don't actually think the FA would have accepted Ab Fab's resignation if Redknapp had been convicted, do you?
And while various England players may have tweeted their shock and surprise at the developments, everyone knew Capello was a lame duck manager. The Manager's public airing of his grievances regarding the FA's handling of the John Terry situation was just the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Let's face it, neither the English public nor the English FA loved Capello; the end of the love affair began with the bland 1-1 draw in England's first World Cup match against the United States, and collapsed utterly with the shambolic 4-1 pasting at the hands of Germany. After July 2010, Capello was living on borrowed time, which happened to run out yesterday. Inconvenient for all involved, but unexpected for no one.
Where the two stories firmly intersect is in who the FA will choose to replace Capello. While the bet here is that there is some interim manager will be put in place to guide the national team through the end of the BPL season, we also firmly believe that Uncle Harry will be sitting on the sidelines when England play France in Ukraine this June.
You certainly didn't hear that here first.
This is farlieonfootie for February 9.