Redknapp left 'bitterly disappointed'

November 29, 2007

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp today said he was 'bitterly disappointed' that police raided his house early yesterday morning.

Police searched Redknapp's home at around 6am - leaving his wife 'petrified' -while he was travelling back from a Champions League match in Germany, said the Portsmouth manager.

He was later arrested along with four other men by detectives investigating corruption in the sport.

Redknapp insists he is at a loss to explain why he was questioned.

The 60-year-old hit out at City of London Police for raiding his home, which he said was only to 'raise the profile' of their investigation.

He said: 'I still feel I was only called in because I have a high profile, I add a bit of a profile to the investigation.

'This has nothing whatsoever to do with me. What an agent does with his player has nothing to do with me.'

Redknapp said that he called the press conference at the club's training ground in Eastleigh, Hants, to clarify the chain of events surrounding his arrest yesterday.

He said he had gone to Germany on Tuesday to watch a match between Stuttgart and Rangers and when he returned yesterday he received a message from his wife saying their house had been raided by police.

'I had my wife on the phone leaving hysterical messages that the police had been round at 6am,' said Redknapp.

'They also raided Peter Storrie and Milan Mandaric. They took a computer away from my house which I bought my wife two years ago. I then got a message to report to Chichester Police Station where I spent a good part of the day.

'The whole crux of the meeting was the fact that an agent had been paid an agent's fee and had paid some of the money to the player. That was the top and bottom of the issue, the player and the football agent.

'I had a meeting today with the players and the staff because I wanted to be completely open with them. This is exactly what it was all about.'

Redknapp went on to say he could not understand why he had been arrested.

He said: 'I was wondering what I was doing there, I'm not involved in what an agent and a player does. I'm not involved.'

Redknapp gave his support to Portsmouth's chief executive Storrie, describing him as an honest man with integrity and added that Mr Mandaric had saved Portsmouth Football Club before moving on to Leicester.

Criticising the police, he continued: 'I was particularly disappointed that the police should come knocking on my door with photographers from a well-known newspaper.

'She (his wife) was absolutely petrified and if that's the way to treat someone that's not the world I was brought up in.'

He added: 'It was a bitter disappointment for me and my family, we were deeply hurt by the situation - why it had to be brought into the public domain when I wasn't involved in any part of it.'

Redknapp added that he had been receiving emails and messages of support from many football players and top managers and added that he just wanted to now concentrate on the club's forthcoming match against Everton on Saturday.

He said: 'Portsmouth is a well-run club from top to bottom. We are now playing the best football in the past 50 years and now we want to get on and concentrate with our football.'