It’s been an up and down career for H Redknapp Esq. Mostly down once he legs it, to be fair. The man truthfully has no equal in English football, either when it comes to drowning in cockroaches and mealworms or leaving a legacy of financial mismanagement. His managerial method, particularly in the latter part of his career, seems to be this:
- turn up at a club and say he’s excited about the challenge
- a week later, tell everyone that the players he’s got are absolute rubbish and he can’t possibly get anywhere unless he buys lots of new ones
- realising it’s too late to change their minds because they’ve given him a four-year contract, the owners give in and provide money, gambling on success
- ‘Arry spends as much as he can and hopes everything will gel, while still telling everyone it’s a much more difficult job than he’d anticipated
- he wins nothing and departs after a couple of years, preferably before the brown stuff hits the fan
- all future statements from him include the fact that finances and players’ contracts were nothing to do with him
The method seems foolproof as long as there are enough idiots in charge of football clubs.
1983–1992 – Harry Redknapp manages Bournemouth
2002 – Bournemouth relegated
2008 – Bournemouth in administration, docked points and relegated
Now to be quite fair, ‘Arry can’t be held directly responsible for what happened a decade or more after he left, but I think he was just warming up. I only include this to establish the pattern.
1994–2001 – Harry Redknapp manages West Ham United
2003 – West Ham relegated
2009 – West Ham relegated
2010 – West Ham saved from bankruptcy by £100m bailout by new owners
Much faster turnaround here. The downward spiral begins fairly soon after he left, possibly because he left no money for his successor to spend.
2002–2004 and 2005-2008 – Harry Redknapp manages Portsmouth
2009 – Portsmouth delay payment of players’ wages three times in four months
2010 – Portsmouth become first PL club to go into administration, making 85 people redundant; relegation follows
2011 – New owners take over and last 4 months before going into administration themselves
2012 – Portsmouth into administration for the second time
Within a year! Go ‘Arry.
2004–2005 – Harry Redknapp manages Southampton
2005 – this time the club are relegated BEFORE Redknapp walks out.
2008 – Southampton players have to be sold to avoid administration.
2009 – the old familiar tale: Southampton go into administration and are relegated (again).
Really on form now, as the downward spiral begins with him still firmly in the hot seat.
2008–2012 – Harry Redknapp manages Tottenham Hotspur
2013–18 Spurs enjoy uncharacteristic success, at least in terms of league placings if not trophies. However, the stadium debt has mounted so it’s fingers crossed that before too long the Redknapp effect is on.
2012–2015 – Harry Redknapp manages Queens Park Rangers
2013 – QPR relegated by ‘Arry.
2014 – QPR promoted by ‘Arry! Unusual turn of events, but early days…
2015 – Redknapp resigns and QPR are relegated
In a new twist, QPR had their worst period of financial mismanagement under fellow serial failure Mark Hughes before appointing Redknapp, and did not allow him to do much damage. Things have since stabilised, but the club still play in a lower division than when he joined.
2016 – Harry Redknapp manages Jordan
2018 (and continuing in 2019) – Katie Price narrowly avoids bankruptcy and is forced to sell personal items for a few quid on ebay.
I know he was managing Jordan the country, not the pneumatic former model, but is this financial problem really just a coincidence?
2017 – Harry Redknapp manages Birmingham City
2018 – After escaping relegation by a single point thanks to ‘Arry’s genius, Birmingham face ‘significant points deduction’ after financial mismanagement leaves them with wages running at 202% of income.
2019 – the points deduction occurs! Nine points are removed from Birmingham’s total and they drop to 18th in the table to join the relegation dogfight.
“This is a case of a club which employed the wrong managers,” said Birmingham Chief Executive Xuandong Ren. Under Redknapp, in the summer 2017 transfer window Birmingham made nine permanent signings and five loan deals at a total cost of £23.75m, while adding £8m to the wage bill. ‘Arry said he was never in control of the finances and denied any responsibility for the club’s troubles.
He’s done it again. I salute you ‘Arry. Well done.