Harry Redknapp has resigned as manager of Premier League strugglers Queens Park Rangers, saying impending knee surgery, not a row over transfer policy, prompted his departure from Loftus Road.
Tuesday’s announcement came just a day after QPR chairman Tony Fernandes tweeted there would be “no more cheque book” at the relegation-threatened London club as the January transfer window closed on Monday.
The veteran English manager, 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.
“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 per cent I feel it’s better for someone else to take over the reins.
“I wish the club every success. I am confident they will survive in the Premier League this year.”
In an interview with Tuesday’s Daily Mail, Redknapp – who needs surgery on both knees – was adamant QPR’s transfer policy hadn’t led to his resignation.
“I haven’t got the hump, we haven’t had a row,” Redknapp told the Mail.
“I knew some while ago that we were not going to be able to get much done in January.
“We had one real target on the last day, (Tottenham striker) Emmanuel Adebayor, because we are short up front. But he was too much money. I accept that.
“There are no hard feelings on my part – I’ve not had a problem with Tony Fernandes in all my time there.”
QPR, with only Leicester below them in the table, are one point shy of safety and a favourable result against Southampton could see them climb out of the bottom three.
Among those linked with replacing Redknapp on a full-time basis were former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood and ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle, who joined Rangers’ backroom team in August.