Prevented from overpaying for one of several players he has already signed several times before, Harry Redknapp phoned QPR chairman Tony Fernandes very early the morning after the January transfer window shut and resigned. Not because he couldn’t be the star of deadline day or because are currently second from the bottom in the Premier League table, but because he needs knee surgery. This is his actual reason.
The following is a transcript of Harry’s call to Fernandes.
Redknapp: Tony! Good morning, it’s Harry.
Fernandes: Harry, it’s early. The transfer window is closed. You can’t get Peter Crouch. Maybe we can try in the summer. Go back to sleep.
Redknapp: No, it’s not that, Tony. I quit.
Fernandes: Quit what? Junk food? Me too, Harry.
Redknapp: No, I have to leave QPR. I can’t do it anymore.
Fernandes: What are you saying, Harry? I know the transfer window didn’t go the way you wanted, but we can do this. Now get some sleep. You’ll feel better after you rest. I promise.
Redknapp: No, no, no. It’s not that. It’s my knee, Tony. I can’t walk. I need surgery. Immediately.
Fernandes: Your knee? Harry, did someone shoot you in the knee last night?! Are you bleeding, Harry?! I will send help, immediately! I will save you, Harry!
Redknapp: Tony, listen to me — I wasn’t shot. My knees are just — I can’t walk. I can’t do it anymore. I need surgery. So I’m quitting. It’s the only way.
Fernandes: Oh. Well. Why not take a week off to get the surgery and then after that you can just sit on the bench and we’ll get you a nice wheelchair to get around in. Maybe even one with a car window attached to it for interviews!
Redknapp: No, I’m afraid not, Tony. I can’t do it. Game over.
Fernandes: I think you could, though. You don’t coach with your knees, Harry.
Redknapp: Tony, trust me. I know what I’m talking about. If I tell the players to go out and run around a bit and I can’t even walk, they’ll call me a hypocrite. They won’t listen. And since running around a bit is the entire foundation of my tactical approach, the club will be in a terrible, terrible position. I can’t have that.
Fernandes: I think the players would still listen to you whether you can walk or not.
Redknapp: No, Tony, I appreciate you trying to talk me out of it, but, all due respect, I think I know a bit more about this than you do. Have you ever beaten a tax evasion case? Have you ever had a Monaco bank account in your dog’s name? Probably not. Now, I don’t know what email is and I’m not sure where the fuel tank on a computer is, but I do know this. I’m sorry, but this is it for me, pal.
Fernandes: None of this makes sense to me, Harry.
Redknapp: Exactly! You’ve sunk millions into this club. Why would you even want a manager who doesn’t make sense to try and steer it clear of relegation after you cruelly denied his January targets and triumphant television interviews? I once told a court of law that I can’t even fill in a team sheet for God’s sake. Just let me go, Tony.
Fernandes: If that’s what you want. OK, Harry. I accept your resignation.
Redknapp: Thank you.
Fernandes: So what are you going to do without football, Harry? Maybe you can open a car dealership. Then you can be a true wheeler dealer!
Redknapp: I AM NOT A WHEELER DEALER! DON’T YOU EVER CALL MY NUMBER AGAIN!
Fernandes: But you called me, Harry.
Redknapp: How could I call you when I don’t even know how to work a phone? Who put this Star Trek zapper thing in my hand? Get it away from me. I’ve never sent a fax!
Fernandes: Hello? Harry, are you still there?
Redknapp: Yes, I’m still here.
Fernandes: Well, good luck with the surgery.
Redknapp: What surgery?
Fernandes: Your knee surgery!
Redknapp: Oh right. OK, Tony. I’ve got a meeting with Sky Sports in a bit, so I really must be going. Cheers, pal. Good luck in the Championship next season. Bye bye.