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Wednesday, November 28, 2007
UPDATE 3-Soccer-Portsmouth manager Redknapp arrested

Reuters

(updates with Mandaric statement)

By Mitch Phillips

LONDON, Nov 28 - Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp and chief executive Peter Storrie were among five people arrested on Wednesday by police investigating corruption in football, the Premier League club said.

Former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric, now in charge at Championship side Leicester City, said later via a spokesman that he had assisted City of London police with their enquiries into a matter that went back to 2003.

The comments closely echoed an earlier statement by Portsmouth spokesman Gary Double, who said: "They (Redknapp and Storrie) have been asked to help police with their enquiries concerning a matter dating back to 2003. "This was prior to the new owner taking control of the club at the beginning of 2006.

"The club is fully supportive of Peter and Harry who are cooperating fully with City of London police in this ongoing enquiry."

On his release from Chichester police station later on Wednesday, Redknapp was quoted by the BBC as saying: "We all helped the police with their inquiries but it doesn't directly concern me, it's other people involved.

"I've been answering questions to help the police. I am not directly concerned with their inquiries.

"They have to arrest you to talk to you, for you to be in the police station. I think that's the end of it, it didn't directly concern me."

A solicitor representing Redknapp and Storrie added: "The inquiries do not relate to either of those individuals, they relate to entirely different individuals."

Mandaric's spokesman said in a statement on Leicester City's Web site (www.lcfc.co.uk): "Mr Mandaric made himself readily available and full co-operated with the Police enquiry.

"While the investigation remains on-going Mr Mandaric will continue to offer his full and total support to the Police and will refrain from making any further public statement at this time."

ENGLAND VACANCY

Redknapp has been widely tipped in the media to be among the contenders to replace sacked England manager Steve McClaren but his odds lengthened with British bookmakers after his arrest.

Earlier on Wednesday, City of London police said they had arrested four men in locations "across the country", later increasing that number to five.

No other details about the arrests were given other than the ages of those detained -- 69, 60, 55, 48 and 30.

"They have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting. It's part of an ongoing investigation into football corruption," the spokeswoman said, adding that it was not linked to the Lord Stevens enquiry.

The Stevens enquiry revealed serious breaches of the game's transfer rules and some of the findings were forwarded to the police's economic crime department to investigate. (Editing by Justin Palmer and Ken Ferris)