Opinion: Harry Redknapp was never the right man for QPR but owner must shoulder blame for indulging him

Redknapp was never the right man for QPR. Credit: PA

By Chris Mendes

Harry Redknapp arrived as the Messiah promising to save one of the worst teams in Premier League history from relegation.

In the end, he left epitomising the very problem preventing QPR from establishing themselves as a top-flight club.

Redknapp has cited upcoming knee surgery as the main reason for giving up on this year’s fight against relegation.

The fact it came less than 24 hours after he failed to sign a player on deadline day is nothing more than a remarkable coincidence, we're being persuaded to believe.

Last year's dramatic play-off victory against Derby will live long in the memory for Rangers fans, even though it simply glossed over the minimum requirement of promotion under the league's wealthiest owners.

It's not just the money Redknapp was allowed to spend on players that made his tenure such an underwhelming waste of resources.

He earned more money in the Championship last season than 14 of the Premier League’s 20 managers, elevating the 67 year-old into the top 30 highest paid coaches in world football.

Anyone with the slightest perception of body language would have worked out long ago that Redknapp was never the right man for QPR, regardless of his pay packet.

Like many of the players recruited in recent years, he arrived fresh from experiencing the glitz and glamour of Champions League football at one of England’s bigger, more established Premier League teams.

The slumped shoulders, puffed out cheeks and lethargic post-match interviews always suggested that, at least in Redknapp's eyes, the pleasure of his employment should be QPR's alone.

This was not entirely lost on owner Tony Fernandes, who even felt compelled to urge Redknapp into showing more passion during matches.

A mild improvement in touchline animation was supposed to convince supporters that Harry's heart had always been in the right place, but proved nothing more than an embarrassing public display for the owner.

In April 2014, with QPR’s promotion to the Premier League still very much in the balance, Redknapp told Football Focus he was completely relaxed about the future. There was no pressure from above and only he would decide when to walk away from QPR.

How can a manager possibly motivate himself to succeed in this kind of environment?

Fernandes has put Les Ferdinand in temporary charge. Credit: PA

Redknapp was successful at Spurs while Mark Hughes, who remains universally despised by QPR fans, has also proved a big hit with Stoke. Both men thrived at different clubs under shrewd owners forcing them to be imaginative in the transfer market.

The Fernandes and Redknapp relationship always seemed like one between two close friends, where a positive spin from the chairman would emerge following every defeat and the manager's position was never in doubt.

Just like he'd predicted, it was Redknapp who decided when he wanted to walk away from Loftus Road, less than 24 hours after Monday's transfer deadline day proved fruitless.

If QPR remain serious about establishing themselves in the Premier League for years to come, the club's owners must refrain from indulging Redknapp's successor in quite the same way.