4 Feb 2015

Redknapp resigns as QPR manager

7:24 am on 4 February 2015

Harry Redknapp has resigned as manager of the struggling English Premier League football club Queens Park Rangers citing knee problems as his reason for stepping down.

The resigning Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp.

The resigning Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

67 year old Redknapp, the oldest manager in the Premier League, said impending surgery meant he could no longer give the job 100 percent.

Redknapp took over at QPR in November 2012 after stints with West Ham, Portsmouth, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur.

He leaves QPR in 19th position with 19 points from 23 games.

Former striker Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey will take temporary charge.

That Redknapp blamed dodgy knees for his departure only adds to the catalogue of colourful stories surrounding one of the characters of the English game.

Call him what you will, although any mention of the words 'wheeler-dealer' will be met with a shirty reply, the 67-year-old's exit leaves the Premier League without one of its msot experienced campaigners.

Increasingly seen as the last of a dying breed, a dinosaur among modern technicians of the game, Redknapp could always read the writing on the wall even if, by his own admission, his spelling was atrocious.

Relegation-threatened QPR have yet to win a point away from home this season and how much longer owner Tony Fernandes would have kept his faith with the oldest manager in the league is now a question that no longer needs answering.

As far as Redknapp is concerned, however, leaving Loftus Road is not the end of the story.

"I still don't think I'm finished with football," he told the Daily Mail website on Tuesday. "When I've had the operations, I'll be looking for work again. I know that. I can't imagine my life without it."

Redknapp may have confessed at a 2012 tax evasion trial that he was "the most disorganised person in the world", a revelation that only cemented the myth of "Our 'Arry" when he was acquitted, but it was also wide of the mark.

The chirpy east-ender is a football man through and through, maybe relying more on old-fashioned nous than modern methods but still able to get a team playing his way and producing the results..

The former West Ham United winger is still the last English manager to win a major trophy, with Portsmouth in the FA Cup in 2008, and the only one to lead an English club into the Champions League.

When he returned to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008, he took the team from the bottom of the Premier League to eighth that season and then fourth -- securing a place in Europe's lucrative Champions League -- the following year.

He would have been a popular choice for England manager, had the FA not opted instead for the less colourful and more cerebral Roy Hodgson.

Nobody could accuse Redknapp of being an intellectual -- he once joked when Andre Villas-Boas was at Chelsea that he was going to change his name to HJR to "sound more intelligent" -- but he did command loyalty.

He also has plenty of fans in the media, who have delighted in regaling their readers with tales of Redknapp's humorous asides and anecdotes.

Redknapp was happy to supply them, from the day he brought on a fan from the crowd as a substitute in a 1994 friendly against Oxford United while West Ham manager to the time he signed a player off a video tape.

"He was a good player, but a nutter," he recalled later. "They didn't show that on the video."

This time, with QPR under tight budget constraints, he made the headlines himself.

"I haven't got the hump, we haven't had a row," he told the Daily Mail as speculation swirled that he had become frustrated at the lack of funds available to do the kind of deals he has done in the past.

"I knew some while ago that we were not going to be able to get much done in January. I just made my mind up because events were piling up. Being told I needed both knees replaced was a huge blow."