Harry Redknapp – serving up a lesson to us all….

Tuesday, 31st October 2017

Harry Redknapp – serving up a lesson to us all….

You never stop learning. That’s one of the great things about life….

It doesn’t matter how old we are, the opportunity to gather fresh knowledge and put it to profitable use is always one that is available to us – one that can help move us forward….

That’s the theory, of course. But it doesn’t just happen….

The practice requires a commitment of time and energy. There is no significant output without a corresponding input. We need to actively apply ourselves to the task of learning….

So, hats off this week to Harry Redknapp – the 70-year-old football man, perhaps best known for his spells in charge at West Ham, Portsmouth and Spurs….

  • Not me, guvnor….

You might recall that way back in 2012 Harry Redknapp was not only being spoken of as a potential England manager, he was also on trial for tax evasion at Southwark Crown Court….

Redknapp stood accused of receiving a transfer ‘bung’ of £189,000 during his time as manager of Portsmouth –  money that had allegedly been paid into a secret bank account in Monaco so that Redknapp could avoid paying tax on it.

Redknapp pleaded ignorance – telling the court that he had no idea what was going on with the monies he earned….

‘My accountant runs my life, I don’t have wage slips, I have not seen a wage slip in 10 years. I don’t see bank statements….’

You might think it remiss of Redknapp to leave so much in his financial life to chance and the ministrations of others, but Redknapp was battling a significant handicap….

‘I have a big problem, I can’t write, so I don’t keep anything. I’m the most disorganized person. I can’t work a computer, I don’t know what an email is, I have never sent a fax and I’ve never sent a text message. Malcolm Webber [Redknapp’s accountant] runs my life, he writes the cheques for me and my wife. I have never wrote [sic] a letter in my life. I write like a two-year-old and I can’t spell. You talk to anyone at the football club, I don’t write, I couldn’t even fill a team-sheet in.’

It was a tale of inadequacy that might have brought a glass-eye to tears. But it was a story of hope too….

Redknapp might not have been able to write a sonnet – or even a shopping list – but it hadn’t stopped him furnishing himself with good money and the other material symbols of a successful professional life….

  • A lesson to us all….

Redknapp was found not guilty of the charges laid against him. But that is by-the-by….

What brings me to Harry Redknapp this morning are not the ins-and-outs of that ancient case, but the giant strides that the man has made in the 6-years since he emerged from Southwark Crown Court a free and exonerated man….

Not only has he improved his writing skills beyond all measure – brushing-up significantly on his spelling….

But he has also embraced technology on a scale that would have seemed absurd at the time of his court case….

Back in 2012, he might not have known what an email was or ever sent a text, but in October 2017 Mr. Redknapp is the proud owner of a Twitter account….

And to show us just how far he has come with his late-life efforts at improved literacy, Mr. Redknapp fired-up that Twitter account recently – using it to tell us how enthused he is about the cryptocurrency revolution….

This direct from Redknapp’s sausage-fingers on 12th October….

‘Proper excited about Mobile Cryptocurrency! I’m in, get involved!’

Not a single spelling mistake in sight. It is clearly never too late to learn….

  • The latest cryptocurrency poster boy….

It seems Harry Redknapp has discovered Electroneum….

Or the folk behind Electroneum have discovered Harry Redknapp and are happy to pay whatever fee was negotiated for his barrow-boy endorsement.

It hardly matters which. Or what Electroneum is. Or why Redknapp is so excited about it – assuming he knows anything about it all….

Cryptocurrencies are in a bubble. And this is one of the things that happens in a speculation bubble….

Not only do new players appear at every turn – seeking to get in on action that has taken the principal cryptocurrency, bitcoin, through the $6000 barrier in recent weeks….

But people who are not really qualified to comment start to get excited and to get involved….

Just a few short years ago Redknapp didn’t know an email from an E-vitamin supplement….

Now his money is ‘in’ cryptocurrencies – a nascent sector that many full-time financial professionals are struggling to understand or make predictions about – and recommending that followers of his Twitter account get involved too….

  • Filling the old belly with gravy….

It would be interesting to sit down with Redknapp and to pick his brains about what exactly he is so ‘proper excited’ about and why….

And to ask him whether he considers it appropriate or responsible to encourage private investors to put their hard-earned cash in the cryptocurrency game – and whether he feels sufficiently informed to make that big call….

Of course, as is the case with the recent transformation in his writing skills, he might surprise us….

Redknapp might have a real handle on this thing. His grasp on the future of cryptocurrencies generally and Electroneum specifically might well prove considered, well-thought-out and illuminating….

But I doubt it. I suspect that Redknapp – ever-alert to the availability of a pound note (and that is not a criticism) – has leapt onto the bandwagon of the moment. Probably without a thought for the ultimate consequences….

Like Floyd Mayweather, Luis Suarez, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paris Hilton – and a whole bunch of other celebrities (from A-list down to Z-list) – endorsing cryptocurrency products of one sort or another, Mr. Redknapp is merely dipping his ladle into the gravy bowl of the day and filling his belly while he can….

Not that we can blame him. After all, Mr. Redknapp is just like the rest of us. He must eat.

  • The real lesson….

I am offering nothing new this week. I am telling you nothing that I haven’t already said in this column….

Cryptocurrencies are a hot sector. Bitcoin leads the way and has punched through the $6000 level….

Chances are that bitcoin will continue along the unprecedented upward trajectory it has been on for the last year. And for some time yet….

And, like Mike Novogratz believes, there is probably still plenty of opportunity to make money on the way up – ‘Prices are going to get way ahead of where they should be.’

But make no mistake, bitcoin specifically and cryptocurrencies generally remain in a bubble fueled by rampant and largely uninformed speculation. Harry Redknapp twittering about his excitement and involvement is just the latest signal that this is so.

That is the real lesson we can extract from the life and times of Harry Redknapp this morning….

That’s how it looks from here. More to come.

All the best,

Dave Gibson

Money Truths