English Premiership

Redknapp blames knee for exit

2015-02-04 09:04
(File, AFP)

London -Harry Redknapp resigned as manager of Premier League strugglers Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday, saying impending knee surgery, not a row over transfer policy, prompted his departure from Loftus Road.

Redknapp's announcement came just a day after QPR chairman Tony Fernandes tweeted there would be "no more cheque book" at the relegation-threatened west London club as the January transfer window closed Monday.

Veteran English manager, Redknapp, 67, had repeatedly said he had the full support of Malaysian businessman Fernandes, the founder of the AirAsia budget airline, amid reports his position was in jeopardy with QPR currently second-bottom in the table.

Head of football operations Les Ferdinand, the former QPR striker, has taken temporary charge ahead of this Saturday's league match at home to Southampton as Fernandes seeks a permanent replacement for Redknapp.

"Sadly, I need immediate surgery on my knee which is going to stop me from doing my job in the coming weeks," said Redknapp, who arrived at Loftus Road in November 2012, in a club statement.

"It means I won't be able to be out on the training pitch every day, and if I can't give 100 percent I feel it's better for someone else to take over the reins."

"I wish the club every success. I am confident they will survive in the Premier League this year."

Renowned for his dealings in the transfer market, former West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur manager Redknapp had long argued he needed to do significant business in the January window if QPR, who've won just five league games so far this season, were to beat the drop.

However, Fernandes called a halt on Monday's final day of the mid-season window when he tweeted: "No more cheque book. We have good players. Bought all the players manager asked for in summer.

"Our players not mercenaries. Good guys."

But in an interview with Tuesday's Daily Mail, Redknapp -- who needs surgery on both knees -- was adamant QPR's transfer policy hadn't led to to his resignation.

"I haven't got the hump, we haven't had a row," Redknapp told the Mail. "I knew some while ago that we were not going to be able to get much done in January.

"We had one real target on the last day, (Tottenham striker) Emmanuel Adebayor, because we are short up front. But he was too much money. I accept that.

"There are no hard feelings on my part -- I've not had a problem with Tony Fernandes in all my time there."

He added: "I know what people think -- that I've been sacked, or stormed off because we couldn't get the players in...But I can't control what people think."

Earlier, Fernandes insisted Redknapp was leaving on "good terms".

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Harry for everything he has done for QPR during his time in charge," said Fernandes in a club statement.

"We part on good terms and I would personally like to wish him all the best for the future."

QPR, with only Leicester below them in the table, are one point shy of safety and a favourable result against Southampton, another of Redknapp's former clubs, could see them climb out of the bottom three.

Last month an already turbulent season for QPR took an extraordinary twist when Redknapp claimed a club 'mole' was trying to force his departure from Loftus Road.

Among those linked with replacing Redknapp on a full-time basis were former Spurs manager Tim Sherwood and ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle, who joined Rangers' backroom team in August.

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