LONDON – Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was sent bungs into his Monaco bank account because he was "greedy", a court heard on Wednesday.
In heated exchanges with former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric, prosecutor John Black QC said the tax dodge was "all about Mr Redknapp and he was greedy and wanted more money".
The barrister asked Mandaric: "That's the truth isn't it?"
Mandaric, standing in the box, replied: "Absolutely not true."
Mandaric told jurors: "He was paid millions of pounds. He was paid fairly ... there was no issue whatsoever."
Mandaric said the £189,000 deposited in Monaco "was money that I was going to develop his portfolio" with.
During cross-examination, Mandaric added: "We can go over and over, Mr Black. I respect your job and everything but I cannot deviate from the truth. Simple as that."
Mandaric denied Redknapp was unhappy over disputes on a bonus due after a £3million profit Portsmouth made on the sale of Peter Crouch.
"I would not say an unhappy Mr Redknapp, that's not fair to say," Mandaric said. "Overall he was a happy manager."
Redknapp, 64, of Poole, Dorset, and Mandaric, 73, from Oadby, Leicestershire, both deny two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp was manager of Portsmouth.
Mandaric accused Mr Black of "correlating", adding: "You are connecting these things."
He added: "It has absolutely nothing to do with football. I hope I have been clear on this."
The payments were made because "there was a friendship, two different subjects, things I always said", Mandaric said.
Redknapp - tipped as a future England boss - was due to give evidence later.
Jurors have been told the 64-year-old denied tax dodging to police, saying: "I write like a two-year-old and I can't spell."
Redknapp also urged detectives to ask his solicitor if he had "ever come across anyone as bad, business-wise".
The first charge of cheating the public revenue alleges that between April 1 2002 and November 28 2007 Mandaric paid 145,000 US dollars (£93,100) into the account.
The second charge for the same offence relates to a sum of 150,000 US dollars (£96,300) allegedly paid between May 1 2004 and November 28 2007.
Mandaric told the court he had paid £100million in taxes during his time in football, adding: "Did I suddenly go crazy?"
The 150,000 US dollar deposit was made after Portsmouth beat Manchester United. Mandaric denied the incidents were connected, adding: "We were a better team, better manager."
He said he did not need to pay Redknapp extra money "on top of your £4million" contract.
He was asked whether he was concerned about Redknapp being "poached" by other clubs.
Mandaric replied: "You are always concerned. I am concerned today that if he wins a few more games. Yes, I was concerned."
Under further questioning, he added: "I told you what was the truth, it was nothing to do with that. I wish I could tell you something else to convince you."
Mandaric said "unfortunately my enthusiastic tank is going down to empty" in the wake of the accusations.
"I am going back with sadness and irreparable damages to myself and my family and I am asking why," he told the court.
He said "I enjoyed so much pride" in his work at Portsmouth, Leicester and Sheffield Wednesday but "unfortunately my enthusiastic tank is going down to empty".
"It's really sad that I have to defend that for the simple reason that I came here 12 years ago with a lot of enthusiasm for football," he said.
Mandaric said "there was never any dialogue saying 'let's try to hide this account'," with Redknapp.
"I am not a wrong person. Nobody that knows me would say I would do anything wrong," Mandaric said.
He added: "The only correlation here is that I was chairman but, for God's sake, can I not have my employees as friends?"
Mandaric is "a man of intelligence and integrity and his word was as good as gold", business associate Michael Tomana told the court.
The chief executive of technology investment firm Redleaf Group in Pittsburgh, US, said: "He had an outstanding reputation... A man of uncommon intelligence, integrity, high moral calibre, a good family man.
"Milan will race you up the stairs on the subway - he doesn't drive around in a limousine."
Mr Tomana said he had about 1,000 business associates before adding: "I would rate Milan in the top five of every person I have worked with."
Mandaric became a free man of Portsmouth in 2003, the court heard.
Former Lord Mayor David Horne said: "I don't believe there was a dishonest hair on his body.
"He was somebody that you can relate to and certainly he was somebody who can be trusted, the way he conducted himself business-wise... he was highly respected."