Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp has said he was “bitterly disappointed” at the way police have handled their investigation into corruption within the game.
He was “deeply upset” that his home was raided at 0600 with photographers from a tabloid newspaper on hand, when the allegations had “nothing whatsoever to do with me”.
Redknapp was one of five men arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.
“I still feel I was only called into this because I was high-profile,” he said.
“I added a bit of profile to the investigation because, really and truly, this has absolutely nothing to do with me. The whole crux of this was that the police wanted to discuss with me and Peter the fact that an agent had been paid an agent’s fee and he’d allegedly paid some of the money to his player. There were no other issues for me to talk about.
“It’s not in my field to be involved in who receives what, what agents’ fees are paid or not paid at this football club. What the agent actually does with his player is none of our business. This club is completely transparent, is totally honest. There’s nothing goes on at this club that shouldn’t, that we’re afraid of.”
Mr Redknapp told a press conference that his wife had been “petrified” during the raid, which took place while he was away from home at a Champions League match in Germany.
He said his family were “deeply heartbroken by the situation”.
“Why I couldn’t just have had a phone call asking me to pop down to the police station for a chat about this, I really don’t know,” he said.
“I was particularly disappointed that the police should come knocking on my door at six o’clock in the morning with photographers from a well-known tabloid newspaper. They searched my house and took away a computer that I bought my wife two years ago for Christmas. I think she learned to turn it on four weeks ago. There’s absolutely nothing on it. If you can tell me that’s the way to treat anybody – well, I’m afraid that’s not the society I was brought up in.”
Among those arrested were Portsmouth’s former chairman Milan Mandaric, who yesterday declared his innocence.
“I am confident the truth will prevail and we will not be charged,” he said. “Harry is a dear friend of mine and we will be doing all we can to cooperate with police in this investigation..
Another of those who were held is understood to be Charlton player and Senegalese international Amdy Faye, currently on loan to Rangers.
The City of London Police inquiry is believed to be centred on the transfer of Faye to Portsmouth from the French club Auxerre, and from Portsmouth to Newcastle, deals set up by agent Willie McKay.