Harry Redknapp quits QPR before he is sacked, with Tim Sherwood favourite to replace him as manager

Veteran boss leaves citing knee problems but patience of club owners was wearing thin after awful run of results

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp quit as Queens Park Rangers manager today before he was pushed, with the club having no intention of renewing his contract at the end of the season and the 67-year-old tired of the constant insecurity around his job.

Redknapp gave extensive interviews today in which he cited his upcoming knee surgery as the key reason behind his decision to leave the club who are 19th in the Premier League with 15 games left to play. The Independent understands that he has been mulling over the decision for more than a month as the team has struggled badly.

Redknapp has denied that the club’s failure to agree a single permanent deal for a new player in the last transfer window – they signed Mauro Zarate on loan and Ryan Manning from Galway United on a free – was a major factor in his decision. Yet, by the time of the deadline on Monday night the club’s reluctance it make any major signings had spelled out to him their attitude on his future.

The former Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood is the favourite to replace Redknapp although as of 8pm tonight no agreement had been reached. In the meantime the head of football operations Les Ferdinand will be in charge of the team with Chris Ramsey, also brought in recently from Spurs, assisting him.

The likelihood is that Redknapp’s assistants Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond will also agree severance packages with the club. Glenn Hoddle was not a full-time member of staff and quit tonight saying in a statement he was “a bit shocked and surprised” by the decision but that he believed that QPR could stay up.

 

Ferdinand’s power is considerable. As well as his input into appointing the new manager he is charged with building a better infrastructure for the club including the academy which has failed to produce a single player for the first team in some time – Raheem Sterling was sold before he could make a senior debut – despite an excellent catchment area.

The QPR chairman Tony Fernandes had floated the idea of a new contract for Redknapp in September but that was shelved as the team’s performances failed to improve. The arrival of Ferdinand and then Ramsey, both of whom had worked as Sherwood’s assistants at Spurs further contributed to the insecurity around Redknapp.

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Head of football operations Les Ferdinand has take charge of the first team after Redknapp’s exit (Getty)

Redknapp told Sky Sports that after an “uncomfortable night” in a London hotel he called Fernandes at 5.30am this morning to tell him that he wanted to quit the club. It is not clear whether the remaining six months of Redknapp’s deal have been paid up but certainly the outcome has suited both parties, to an extent. Fernandes had been close to sacking him more than once and neither side wanted to go through a protracted and damaging parting of the ways.

For now Redknapp has presented the parting as an amicable parting of the ways. “Tony backed me 100 per cent in the summer,” he told Sky Sports. “There were one or two who had injuries. I have not been able to get Sandro on the pitch as much and one or two lads, there’s more to come from. I think there’s a decent squad that can stay in the Premier League.”

Redknapp said that his knee problems had made it impossible even to control a football. “The players must look at me and think ‘Look at the old crock’. It’s not ideal.”

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