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Harry Redknapp



Director of Football Summer 2001


Manager of Portsmouth


March 2002–November 2004


December 2005–October 2008








Director of Football  Summer 2001

Redknapp became Director of Football at Portsmouth in summer 2001. 


Manager March 2002–November 2004

When the Leicester City manager's job became vacant with the dismissal of Peter Taylor that autumn, Redknapp was widely tipped to take over at the East Midlands club, but stayed loyal to Pompey and the Leicester job went to Dave Bassett. Ironically, it was reported in the national media that had Redknapp taken over, Bassett would have been on his coaching staff at the East Midlands club.

However, after the club's poor form he replaced manager Graham Rix in March 2002. Redknapp managed the club to the Division One title in the 2002–03 season, gaining promotion to the Premier League, replacing his former club West Ham.

Redknapp kept Portsmouth in the Premier League in the 2003–04 season, but had a dispute with Portsmouth's owner Milan Mandarić over his assistant Jim Smith. Redknapp had another disagreement with Mandaric over the appointment of Velimir Zajec as Director of Football and resigned as Portsmouth's manager in November 2004.

The interim period

A few weeks after his departure at Portsmouth, Redknapp became manager of Southampton, a move which infuriated Portsmouth's supporters as the two clubs are fierce local rivals. Some fans even bore T-shirts which referred to Redknapp as "Scummer" and "Judas" and called for him to "Rot In Hell".

Redknapp was tasked with keeping Southampton in the Premier League – a similar task to the one Redknapp was facing with Portsmouth, and a familiar one at the club over the previous 15 years, which he would have faced had he accepted the offer to take over a decade earlier – but ultimately was unable to achieve this, ending Southampton's 27 year spell in the top flight. Redknapp remained in charge for the 2005–06 Championship season but was unable to establish consistency needed to make Southampton promotion contenders. Redknapp was also unhappy with chairman Rupert Lowe's appointment of Sir Clive Woodward to the club's coaching staff. After being repeatedly linked with a return to Portsmouth after they sacked Alain Perrin, Redknapp resigned as Southampton's manager in early December 2005. Lowe quoted Redknapp as referring to Portsmouth as his "spiritual home".


Manager December 2005–October 2008

Return to Portsmouth

Redknapp returned to Portsmouth on 7 December 2005 with the club threatened by relegation to the Championship, although not in the relegation zone. At first it looked like Redknapp would be heading for a second successive relegation, but a fine run of form at the end of the season, aided by the takeover of Portsmouth by Alexandre Gaydamak (which provided Redknapp with more money), ensured Portsmouth's survival. In the following season, Redknapp led Portsmouth to a ninth placed finish which was the club's highest league finish since the 1950s. In October 2007, Redknapp signed a new contract at Portsmouth lasting until 2011.

In January 2008 it emerged through the media that Redknapp was offered the vacant manager's job at Newcastle United following the sacking of Sam Allardyce. Redknapp had apparently declined the job, stating "I have a job to do to take this club forward and to walk away would not have been the right thing to do." It was later stated by Newcastle chairman Christopher Mort that Redknapp "was interviewed for the job but he was only one of a number of people we were speaking to at that time", and at the time of Redknapp's interview the club had already been in secret talks with the eventual appointee, Kevin Keegan, for a week.

On 8 March, he led Portsmouth to an FA Cup quarter final victory over Manchester United, completing a hat-trick of FA Cup wins over Manchester United, and followed this with a semi-final victory over West Bromwich Albion at Wembley Stadium on 5 April. He guided the club to their first FA Cup Final in 69 years, where they beat Cardiff City, on 17 May 2008, to win The FA Cup 1–0, thanks to a goal scored by Nwankwo Kanu.

Redknapp returned to Portsmouth to receive the Freedom of the City in a ceremony on 28 October 2008. As this event took place two days after his departure for Tottenham, he received a mixed reception from the Portsmouth fans, despite having led the club to a long-awaited trophy in the 2008 FA Cup.


Harry Redknapp (born March 2 1947) is an English former footballer, and prior manager of Portsmouth F.C. of the English Premiership.

Harry Redknapp was born in Poplar and supported Arsenal as a boy, his father taking him to Highbury from a young age.

Player career

Redknapp's playing career began at West Ham United. After coming through the youth ranks as a winger at Upton Park, he signed professional terms as a 17-year-old in 1964 and went on to make 149 top flight appearances, scoring 8 goals.

In 1972, he transferred to Bournemouth, where he spent four years, playing 101 games. He then moved back to London when he was bought by Brentford in 1976, and played for the club until his retirement in 1979.

Management and coaching career

At the beginning of the 1982/83 season Redknapp took up his first major coaching role as assistant manager to Don Megson at AFC Bournemouth, six years after leaving the club as a player.

AFC Bournemouth

Redknapp's career gets underway

Megson was sacked in 1984 with the Cherries in trouble near the foot of the Third Division, and Redknapp was handed the manager's position.

Initially, Redknapp's brief was to avoid the drop into the bottom rung of The Football League. This he achieved by a comfortable margin, but the FA Cup would provide a superb distraction to their League troubles.

Redknapp's giant killers

Bournemouth were drawn at home to holders Manchester United in the Third Round of the competition, and they pulled off perhaps their greatest ever result in knocking out the mighty Red Devils.

Redknapp looked to build on a good start to life in the hot seat. He paid close attention to the youth system, insisting that adequate plans were put in place in order to bring talent through into the first team, and talented youngsters such as his son Jamie Redknapp soon forced their way into the squad.

The Cherries became one of the best sides in the lower divisions, playing attractive football, as Redknapp wheeled and dealt in the transfer market to lure in bargain stars.

The Second Division at last!

After a couple of seasons of consolidation in mid-table, everything clicked in the 1986/87 season. Bournemouth stormed to the Third Division title in style, clocking up a club record 97 points as they held off the challenge of Middlesbrough.

Back down again

Redknapp failed to mount a bid for promotion into the top flight, with two seasons spent as an average Second Division side, and dropped back down a division in 1990.

Personal tragedy

But tragedy struck in the summer of 1990 when Redknapp travelled to Italy to take in the World Cup. He was involved in a major car crash which killed five people, including the AFC Bournemouth managing director Brian Tiler, but made a full recovery from major injuries.


Redknapp continued at the south coast club but announced his resignation at the end of the 1991/92 campaign. He had become disillusioned with the lack of funds and limited resources at his disposal.

West Ham United

Assistant Manager

For the next season he was appointed assistant manager to Billy Bonds at West Ham, another of his former clubs. However, when in August 1994, Bonds left after a major disagreement with the board, Redknapp was appointed manager of his hometown club.

Promotion to the hot seat

After three seasons of stabilising the side, enjoying mid-table finishes, the fruits of Harry's labour could be seen. However, it wasn't long before Redknapp, was beginning to come under some pressure from the fans for his failure to create a top-half side, but the board would be repaid for their faith.

As at Bournemouth, Redknapp was determined to get the youth system right and yet again he pulled it off with players of the calibre of Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and his nephew Frank Lampard coming through the ranks.

Chasing Europe

The Hammers finished eighth in 1998 and then enjoyed one of the best seasons in their history when finishing in fifth place and qualifying for the Intertoto Cup.

The 1999/2000 season was not as successful but that could well have been put down to their involvement in Europe, winning the Intertoto Cup and thus qualifying for the UEFA Cup. This meant their season began a month early, which led to tiredness and only one point from the final 12 available.


That same season West Ham lost arguably their best defender when Ferdinand was signed by Leeds United for a record fee of £18million. Although some of the cash would go back to Harry for squad strengthening, he fell out with the board over what he felt was a lack of ambition. He left on 9th May 2001, with mystery surrounding his departure - did he resign or was he sacked?

Portsmouth (2001-2004)

Director of Football

Redknapp soon re-emerged as Director of Football at Portsmouth. He struggled to get to grips with the role, although did show his loyalty by turning down the chance to take over at Leicester City in October 2001.

Redknapp jumps into the hot seat

Rumours that Redknapp would become Pompey's manager were finally proved correct on March 25, 2002, when he replaced Graham Rix. The former Chelsea coach had been forced to deal with constant speculation, and it always appeared only a matter of time before he left.

Backed by the millions of chairman Milan Mandaric, Redknapp moulded a squad of youth and experience for an assault on the First Division - veterans Paul Merson and Steve Stone were joined by former Hammers Svetoslav Todorov and Hayden Foxe. Jim Smith was also drafted in as his assistant.

The Premiership at last!

Pompey were excellent from the very beginning, and earned promotion into the Premiership for the first ever time, ironically replacing West Ham, by lifting the Division One title ahead of Leicester City. Redknapp was also named the League Managers' Association's Manager of the Year.

Although there was talk of Mandaric leaving the club, he continued to pump in the money. Fans were given hope of staying in the top flight as Redknapp bolstered the squad close season with the signing of players like Boris Zivkovic, Dejan Stefanovic and Teddy Sheringham.

Despite enduring a series of long term injuries to vital first team players, Redknapp worked wonders in 2003/04.

Pompey topped the table for a short spell at the start of the season, following a 4-0 thrashing of Bolton Wanderers and victory over Aston Villa.

But they then won only one game in the next two-and-a-half months before dishing out another humbling, 6-1, to Leeds United.

Steve Stone, Tim Sherwood, Patrik Berger, Svetoslav Todorov and Vincent Pericard were among those who spent lengthy time on the treatment table. But Harry Redknapp brought in good reinforcements in the January transfer window - Eyal Berkovic, Ivica Mornar, Petri Pasanen and Lomana Tresor LuaLua.

Pompey finished the season with a real flourish, losing one in ten with six victories, as Yakubu bagged 11 goals.

Acrimonious departure

Despite apparent arguments over transfers and coaching positions with chairman Mandaric, Redknapp strengthened his squad over the summer of 2004, and restated his commitment to make Pompey an established Premiership side. However, following various disagreements with chairman Milan Mandaric, on 23rd November 2004 he resigned with immediate effect.

Southampton (2004 - 2005)

'Judas' Redknapp joins the Saints

Despite claiming that he was leaving Fratton Park to take a break from the game, Redknapp was appointed first team manager of Pompey's bitter rivals Southampton on December 8. Not surprisingly, the appointment infuriated Portsmouth supporters, some of whom immediately branded him as a Judas. The nature of his departure remains controversial, and disparaging comments from each side about the other have continued, stoking the fire of an already-bitter rivalry.


Inheriting a team in disarray after the sacking of managers Paul Sturrock and then Steve Wigley, Harry was unable to save the club in the half-season he had in charge. During the side's last few weeks in the Premiership, Portsmouth took revenge on Redknapp by beating the side 4-1. Southampton's 1-2 defeat at the hands of Manchester United on the final day of the season saw the team relegated to the Championship, dropping out of top flight football for the first time since 1978. Redknapp had never previously been relegated from the top division, but vowed to stay on at the Southern club and conclude his footballing career on a high.

Redknapp no longer a saint

However, the first few months at the newly-relegated side were characterised by poor results including a long run of draws. On 3 December 2005 it was announced that he had left his position at the club. His departure followed mounting speculation that he was on the verge of rejoining Portsmouth. Redknapp felt that his position had been made untenable due to the nature of the rivalry between the two clubs. Following Redknapp's departure, Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe announced that there would be an official investigation into Portsmouth's handling of the situation.

Return to Portsmouth (Since 2005)

Controversial comeback

Redknapp returned to Portsmouth on 7th December 2005, following the departure of Frenchman Alain Perrin. Club chairman Milan Mandaric professed himself delighted with his return. There was some criticism in the media for the Redknapp-Portsmouth-Southampton affair, with some claiming it was damaging the image of the game.

The departure of Velimir Zajec, whose appointment as director of football contributed to the tensions between Mandaric and Redknapp in 2004, was cited as one of the factors behind Redknapp's decision to return to Portsmouth, with Sir Clive Woodward's similar role at Southampton having caused much media speculation about Redknapp's position at the club.

Harry Houdini saves Portsmouth

The arrival as joint Chairman of Portsmouth F.C. of Alexandre Gaydamak on 2nd January 2006 immediately raised doubts as to whether Redknapp would continue in his role as manager. Gaydamak, however, has since dismissed this speculation, saying that his sole interest was to ensure the club's survival in the top-flight. The club spent much of the 2005-06 season in the relegation zone and Redknapp's chances of keeping them up seemed slim, but they finished the season very strongly to retain their place in the Premiership. Having been 8 points adrift with less than two months of the season to go, this "great escape" (coupled with a similar one when at West Ham) led to Redknapp being dubbed "Harry Houdini" by the media. Some observers have pointed out that Portsmouth were outside the relegation zone at the time of Redknapp's reappointment, and it has been argued that Redknapp himself created the seemingly-hopeless situation from which Portsmouth were "saved".

The Future

Redknapp signed a 3 year contract with Portsmouth on 25th May 2006. His previous contract with the club officially ended on the last day of the 2005-2006 season.


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