Mandaric didn’t rate Crouch and questioned why Redknapp wanted to sign him

SIGNING ON Peter Crouch
SIGNING ON Peter Crouch

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MILAN Mandaric thought striker Peter Crouch was “useless” and did not want to sign him for Pompey, the jury heard.

Prosecutor John Black QC read parts of a police interview Harry Redknapp gave under caution at Bishopsgate police station, in London, in June 2009.

In it Redknapp said how the first payment made to the Monaco bank account of $145,000 was a bonus for the profits of Crouch after he was paid five per cent when he was entitled to 10.

‘We argued about the rights and wrongs of the extra five per cent,’ he said.

‘When I signed Crouch, Milan kept saying “he is useless, I think you’re going to have to pay me the 10 per cent”.

‘I knew [I was owed 10 per cent] because he kept telling me that I owed him 10 per cent because he didn’t think he was any good.’

In his police interview Redknapp said he argued with Mandaric and Peter Storrie, the club’s chief executive at the time, over the 10 per cent.

‘They thought I was only due five,’ he said.

He said that Mandaric had not wanted to buy Crouch for £1.25m from QPR in 2001 but he insisted on signing him.

After the sale to Villa in 2002, Redknapp got five per cent of the net profit - £115,473 - but it’s alleged Mandaric then paid the $145,000 into the offshore account to avoid tax and make up the extra five per cent.