The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
Harry Redknapp has been released on bail—as if a jail could hold Harry—and has spoken out about his run-in with Johnny Law this morning. He’s innocent, of course. But his defense goes beyond mere protestations of righteousness and into a realm of counter-intuitive logic so breathtaking that it would probably take 60 more police officers just to straighten things out again. Here’s what Harry said:
We all helped the police with their inquiries, but it doesn’t directly concern me – it’s other people involved,” he said.
“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.”
Now, I don’t know whether Harry’s guilty or not. And I gladly accept that an arrest is no proof of anything. But this may be the first time I have ever heard anyone use the fact that they were arrested as a positive proof of their innocence. Why was Harry arrested? Because he wanted to help the police catch someone else! Who? We don’t know. Anyone could be guilty—anyone, that is, except the people who were taken to jail this morning: the only ones Harry rules out.
Before this gets too metaphysical, I wonder if someone with a more refined knowledge of the workings of the London police (mine goes no further than Prime Suspect, and I don’t think grim institutional sexism is what’s done in poor Harry) could tell me whether it is in fact the case that the sole means of providing information to an English criminal investigation is by first being taken into custody? Really? No hope of just answering a few questions voluntarily?
Anyway, as delightful as all this is, I have to confess that I’m still a bit disappointed. I was hoping (irrationally, I see now) that Harry would answer every question about this incident by humming lyrics from “Guns of Brixton” and staring moodily at the floor.
REPORTER: Harry, can you tell us a bit about what happened this morning?
HARRY: When the law break in,
How you gonna go,
Shot down on the pavement,
Or waiting in death row?
REPORTER: Harry, can you confirm that you were indeed arrested as part of an investigation into bungs by the City of London Police?
HARRY: The money feels good,
And your life you like it well,
But surely your time will come,
As in heaven, as in hell.
REPORTER: I’m sorry, Harry—can you shed any light at all on this situation, or at least tell us the next step for your involvement in what we’re being told is an extensive police investigation?
HARRY: You can crush us, you can bruise us,
But you’ll have to answer to
Oh—the guns of Brixton.
Oh—the guns of Brixton.
(Scowls, walks away from podium.)
by Brian Phillips · November 28, 2007