Harry must be more media savvy

Saturday 8th June 2013 16:02

Harry Redknapp: Just can't help himself

Harry Redknapp: Just can't help himself

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FanZoner Chris King says QPR fans are growing tired of Harry Redknapp washing his dirty linen in public and calls for a more reserved approach.

Declaring an interest in Wayne Bridge following a season in which washed-up Premier League 'stars' conspired to relegate Queens Park Rangers is rather misguided, to say the least.

Yet that is what manager Harry Redknapp did this week, proving beyond all doubt the simple truth that many supporters have long held to be self-evident: he simply cannot help himself.

Presumably the former Tottenham Hotspur boss regarded the once-Chelsea left back as a "t'riffic" player capable, perhaps single-handedly, of bringing about an immediate return to the top flight.

A large number of fans, on the other hand, quite rightly reacted with suspicion and fear at the possibility of restarting the perilous trend that brought about the debacle last season.

With also-relegated Reading having snapped up the 32-year-old on Friday, the immediate danger has passed, and Bridge may well prove to be a key ingredient in the Royals' Championship title-winning side.

Had he been signed by Rangers, however, he would have become another costly, injury-prone member of the Loftus Road retirement home for former Premier League footballers.

Surely, as the manager of a club where signings similar to Bridge have had a catastrophic effect, helped to inflict debts of £90million and cost the R's their top-flight status, Redknapp would know better?

Apparently not, for as well as pinning his colours to the mast with the defender, Redknapp apparently threatened to leave QPR if he is not wholly in charge of the club's transfer policy over the coming months.

Given that chairman, Tony Fernandes, and chief executive, Phil Beard, are notoriously football-illiterate, placing sovereignty over matters on the pitch in the hands of the manager seems wise.

Yet this is Redknapp, who bemoaned the destructive influence of agents prior to the opening of the January transfer window, ridiculed Fernandes for having his "pants pulled down", and then did just this himself.

While the battle was supposedly being fought for Bridge's signature, the 66-year-old said rather portentously on Wednesday: "You can't have other people have a say at all.

"I'm a football person and I've got a staff around me of football people. We've got to make the decisions and, if we make the right ones, we will have a chance.

"Otherwise, if other people want to make the decisions, we've got no chance. If I don't get that, then I wouldn't stick around. They've got to back me with the people I want."

Wise words perhaps, but to supposedly follow such a bold, authoritative statement with an alleged interest in Spurs rejects William Gallas, 35, and David Bentley, 28, is something of a betrayal.

There is of course a chance that Redknapp has no desire to approach either player, and the media is lazily linking the released duo with the gaffer because of their shared North London connection.

However, the vigour with which Redknapp chased Bridge suggests otherwise, and that is deeply concerning. Not only this but, if he does reach breaking point, might there be some sense in letting him go?

Redknapp would do well to listen to former R's manager Neil Warnock, who said: "Although Wayne Bridge is a free transfer, he was on very big wages, and it's not just a matter of signing him on a free. It's the whole cost behind the scenes."

Warnock himself is no stranger to blowing the budget, and can be blamed for several generously-remunerated problems at Loftus Road, notably Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Anton Ferdinand.

Nevertheless, Fernandes was also correct when he voiced tentative support for pay-as-you-play arrangements at QPR. He said: "We have to find a balance between being enthusiastic and throwing money down the drain.

"We want to make sure we're protected, and not have guys on huge salaries doing nothing. Harry should be the first person to say I've been the most supportive chairman in the league."

Indeed he ought to, for in opening up the war chest to allow Redknapp to indulge himself like a kid in a sweet shop, as he did at Portsmouth, Fernandes may perhaps be expecting a little more respect.

With no eastern European nation currently willing to offer Redknapp a job, he needs to finally grasp that Rangers are no longer in the Premier League and work harder to keep himself, and the club, out of the news.

By Chris King, FanZone's QPR blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @chriskking - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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