Portsmouth Football Club manager Harry Redknapp said tonight that he was “not directly concerned” with a police investigation into corruption in the sport.
Redknapp and the club’s chief executive Peter Storrie, were among five men arrested during a series of raids across the UK.
Redknapp confirmed Leicester City chairman Milan Mandaric was also one of those held, while it was widely reported tonight that Rangers midfielder Amdy Faye and football agent Willie McKay were also arrested.
City of London Police interviewed the men after arresting them on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.
Up to 60 officers were involved in searches at eight addresses at locations across the UK including Redknapp’s luxury home in Poole, Dorset.
Redknapp was released after several hours of questioning at a police station in Chichester.
On returning home, he said: “We all helped the police with their enquiries, 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 enquiries.”
Redknapp confirmed that he had been arrested and said: “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.”
Redknapp confirmed that as well as himself, Milan Mandaric and Peter Storrie were also arrested today.
Today’s raids were the most dramatic development yet in an ongoing inquiry by fraud detectives to root out corruption in the national game.
Last year the FA brought in former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Stevens and his company, Quest, to carry out a separate inquiry into suspect transfers.
City of London Police would only confirm the ages of the arrested men – 69, 60, 55, 48 and 30.
Detectives are believed to be focussing on Faye’s transfers from Auxerre to Portsmouth in August 2003 and Portsmouth to Newcastle in January 2005.
Mandaric was Portsmouth chairman at the time of his arrival to and departure from the south coast club. McKay is believed to have been his agent.
Redknapp was Portsmouth manager when Faye arrived in 2003. The player has since signed for Charlton and joined Rangers on a season-long loan in August.
A Portsmouth FC spokesman said: “Portsmouth Football Club can confirm that chief executive Peter Storrie and manager Harry Redknapp have today been asked to help police with their inquiries 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 co-operating fully with City of London Police in this ongoing inquiry.
“Both are playing major roles in the continued success of Portsmouth Football Club.”
A City of London Police spokeswoman said: “Five men have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting as part of an ongoing investigation into football corruption.”
Both Rangers and Leicester City declined to comment.
Last year Redknapp was questioned by the Football Association over claims he illegally approached a player.
He was secretly filmed as part of a BBC documentary but dismissed the allegations as “farcical”.
In July, police searched offices at Newcastle United, Portsmouth and Glasgow Rangers as well as two homes.
A 28-year-old – widely rumoured to be Tottenham Hotspur defender Pascal Chimbonda – was questioned in September.