LONDON, February 3 – Harry Redknapp resigned as manager of Premier League strugglers Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday, saying his impending knee surgery would otherwise dent the club’s battle to stay in the English top flight.
However, his 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.
“My relationship with Tony Fernandes has been one of the highlights of my footballing career and I wish the club every success,” the former West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur manager added.
“I am confident they will survive in the Premier League this year.
“I have had such a fantastic time at QPR. I would like to thank the Board, the players and all my staff, and especially the supporters who have been absolutely fantastic to me since I arrived at the club for their tremendous support.”
Renowned for his dealings in the transfer market, Redknapp had long argued he needed to do significant business in the latest transfer window if QPR, who’ve won just five league games so far this season, in order to help the club beat the drop.
But Fernandes appeared to call a halt on Monday’s final day of the January 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.”
Despite those comments, Fernandes said Tuesday he was parting on “good terms” with Redknapp as he accepted the manager’s resignation.
“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 QPR’s 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.