Henry James Redknapp is round about the same age as me, although I think I am better looking.
He is a darling of the media and almost always gets a good press.
But what is his career and his brush with the law? Given that he now resides at the other end of Seven Sisters, how to put him in perspective?
Let us, by way of something to do this Sunday, look at the clubs he has managed, and where they are now and in conclusion revisit his legal position.
Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic (trading under the non-de-plume of A.F.C. Bournemouth) is a club I know well – I went to school in Dorset after my parents inexplicably left north London when I was 11. And let’s be fair Harry Redknapp was the only manager of the club to get them into the second tier of football. After he took them back down, he left.
Last Bournemouth started on minus 17 points, had endless changes of ownership and management, they have mega money problems, and just managed to stay in the league on the last day of the season. Hardly Harry’s fault. Except…
After a break Harry next went to West Ham United and in 1994 he became manager. Harry showed what has become his style by changing the entire team around with signings both good and bad. They went into the Intertoto and won it!
But in May 2001 Redknapp was sacked by the chairman with whom he had fallen into dispute over what he said to a fanzine.
WHU are now totally bankrupt and could go bust this seaosn. They have to pay out a fortune to Sheffield U over the Tevez fiasco, and their future is very uncertain. Hardly Harry’s fault. Except…
Redknapp replaced Graham Rix at Portsmouth and took the club into the EPL. But then he fell into dispute with the owner over who his support team should be and he resigned to go to Southampton whom he took down and out of the EPL after 27 years at the top. Hardly Harry’s fault (actually it was Harry’s fault…)
He then fell out with the chairman and went back to Portsmouth. Southampton are now in the 3rd tier, and still cannot complete a deal for new owners to take them over. There is a real chance they might not make it into next season. Not Harry’s fault. Except…
Back in Portsmouth Harry took the club down into the relegation zone, and then back up again to survival on the last day of the season. He made a speech about not walking away from the club (when he said Newcastle offered him a job) although Newcastle said that in fact they never offered him the job. But he won the cup in 2008 beating the mighty Cardiff City in the final. Our old mate Kanu scored. He then left for Tottenham.
Portsmouth are currently in limbo. Sheikh Yermoney has offered to buy the club, but nothing is happening, players are leaving (they have 17 first team players left), and there is a real danger the club might be out of existence soon. Not Harry’s fault of course. Except…
The tiny totts paid £5 million for Harry, and to be fair, he kept them up. But he also did his old trick of leaving out good players who simply needed handling in the right way, and instead humiliated them by making them play in the reserves against the 16 year olds of Arsenal while earning £60,000 a week. (When the Totts played Arsenal at the Orient towards the end of last season they had players who had cost around £44 on the pitch.)
Since January this year Harry has spent money like it wasn’t his own (which it isn’t). Defoe (£15.75m) Palacios (£12m) Keane (£12m) Will he make the old Redknapp magic work at Tottenham? We wait to see. Except…
On 19 September 2006, Harry was shown on Panorama on BBC1 being involved in what seems to be an illegal approach for a player. Redknapp denies all charges and nothing has been proven.
Then in November 2007 Harry was reported (along with Portsmouth Managing Director Peter Storrie, Milan Mandarić, agent Willie McKay and footballer Amdy Faye) as being arrested by City of London Police in relation to the ongoing inquiries into allegations of corruption in football.
Then on 16 April 2008, Redknapp announced his intention to take the police to court over his arrest and in May the Magistrates’ Court ruled that the raid on Redknapp’s home in Poole, was wholly unacceptable. He got £1000 damages. He is still on police bail relating back the November 07 arrest.
Of course Harry has not been directly responsible for the demise of Bournemouth, West Ham, Portsmouth and Southampton – but it is curious how this trail of disaster follows him once he has left. Is it a coincidence?
If you would like to know more about this managerial style at Tottenham take a look at this wonderful piece…
This article will soon appear on other sites under other names. The level of reporting in this article is undoubtedly better than that in the Sun, but there may be slips, as I inevitably rely on other sources to pull together all this info. If there are errors, my apologies to Henry James Redknapp, his oft quoted wife, and all who visit is delightful house in Sandbanks, Poole.
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