Harry Redknapp’s brief reign as Birmingham manager ended on this day in 2017 after the club responded to a dreadful start to the new season.
Redknapp was recruited at the tail end of 2016-17 with the aim of keeping the Blues in the Championship, an achievement he managed with wins over Huddersfield and Bristol City in the last two games.
But having been given the funds to rebuild the squad during the summer, the 70-year-old oversaw a run of six consecutive losses with a 3-1 home defeat to Preston convincing the board to terminate his contract.
It was only his 13th game in charge and Redknapp departed claiming he had been well placed to steer Birmingham back into the Premier League – had he been given more time.
“I’m disappointed. It’s been difficult because I’ve had one week with a new team and new players. One week,” said Redknapp, who spent £14million on 20 players during the transfer window.
“It takes time to build a football team, not one week. And I still felt that given time I would have given them a team that would have been challenging for promotion, I had no doubt about that.”
It ended a 34-year career in management that began with Bournemouth in 1983 and took in successful spells at West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham among his seven clubs – plus two games in charge of the Jordan national team.
He led the Hammers to fifth in the Premier League, won an Intertoto Cup and qualified for the UEFA Cup, while handing senior debuts to the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Redknapp’s nephew Frank Lampard.
He earned promotion to the Premier League in his first spell with Portsmouth and won an FA Cup in his second, either side of a stint with fierce rivals Southampton, and took Spurs from relegation danger under Juande Ramos to consistently European qualification and a Champions League quarter-final. While there, he was named Premier League manager of the year for the 2009-10 season.