Vital Football

Why Harry owes Pompey

Why Harry owes Pompey
After all, just look what HE did for the club: took them from a struggling championship side, to a top 10 premiership side.

However, I don't think it should be under estimated what Pompey did for him: took him from a struggling championship manager to a top 10 premiership manager.

Prior to his arrival at Portsmouth, Harry had managed Bournemouth (in the third division, who he got promoted - then relegated). He eventually left Bournemouth after becoming disillusioned by the lack of funding available to him.*

His days at West Ham were much better. He eventually became their manager in 1994, and achieved some good results - culminating in finishing 5th (West Ham's highest ever finish). However it was then a downward spiral, with him being sacked on 9 May 2001.

So - in a 17 year managerial career, he had been promoted once, relegated once, and qualified for Europe once. At Bournemouth, he resigned because he wasn't being given enough money, whilst at West Ham he spent large sums of money - often not that successful (Marco Boogers and Florin Raducioiu), and only got one run in Europe. Which was a failure. West Ham were relegated two seasons after he left.

So, when a slightly disgraced Harry Redknapp was appointed technical director at Portsmouth in 2001, then manager in 2002, He could not be described as having had a flourishing career.

However, with Mandaric's money to spend, and other clubs not having money due to ITV's TV deal collapsing, he was able to gain his second promotion, as Pompey won division 1 in style.

More money spent, and we managed to finish 13th - and then halfway through the following season, Harry quit Pompey and - with little money to spend - got relegated with Southampton.

Halfway through the following season, he returned to Pompey (who were in the process of being bought by Sasha Gaydamak), spent vast sums of money, and eventually Pompey avoided relegation.

He was then allowed to spend more money in the following summer, and we managed to finish in 9th place, just missing out on Europe on the final day of the season.

More money was spent the following summer - by this stage, Pompey were one of the big "buyers" in the transfer markets. Roy Keane commented that it was clubs "like Pompey" that were driving up the prices of players (although he subsequently spent more than us!) - and with all the new talent brought in, we managed to finish 8th, and win the FA cup. It should be noted that a lot of hard work had gone into building the team that one the FA cup. Most of it by Sasha Gaydamak for earning the money to pay for it.

A lot was said about how it was "Harry" who was attracting players to the club at this stage. However (with the exception of Defoe, who personally I was strongly against anyway) this was largely untrue. During Sasha's reign, we had become one of the highest paying clubs in the premiership. We had set out an ambition, and were making vast strides to reaching it. It was this "ambition" the large wages that was what was attracting players to Pompey. An ambition I believe we still have (as supported by our targets - Pennant [also targeted by Real Madrid and AC Milan] and Saviola [Argentine international, currently at Real], as well as persuading Glen Johnson to sign a new deal, despite speculation of his move to Liverpool).

However, with rumours of financial trouble, Harry quit Portsmouth. In doing so, he ended any chance he had of becoming a true legend at the club, or in the game. He claims it was because he wanted to prove that he "make it at a big club", and he wanted to prove he could live "outside he comfort zone" (but only if he could stay living at Sandbanks) - however it is more likely that he was afraid that without large sums of money to spend, he would not be able to continue his good run.

If Harry could understand that quitting a club you said you "loved" for a rival - and then claiming you "loved them" since you were a child (when at Pompey, he claimed to be an Arsenal fan, and he grew up playing and managing at West Ham) just is not a way to behave if you want to be treated with respect. Tapping up other teams players is not a way to behave if you want respect - especially from your previous club.

After this weekend, I want to be able to forget about him. Forget about the way he has treated us [the fans] - however I don't see that being possible, as the man just can't stop talking about us.

Please Harry… just be quiet!

* It should be noted that prior to him leaving Bournemouth, during the 1990 World Cup, Harry was involved in a serious car crash whilst with Managing Director of the club Brian Tiler, who died along with four other people.

Written by pompeycarpet.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

Join the Vital Pompey Debate

Date:Saturday January 17 2009
Time: 11:48AM


As you say lets hope we don't hear any more after this weekend. Harry has never built for the future, he has bought for the now, and would then buy again to try and maintain momentum. The trouble is this builds up problems and the club becomes a house of cards. Harry knew without major investment we could not continue at our current level or improve even further (using Harry's modus operandi). Many of our performances have been poor from about November 2007 onwards, with Harry compromising our effectiveness with his chase for Defoe and the requirement to play 442. He could see what was coming and unsurprisingly ran. I do smile when I now here him critisise the Spurs squad and the way it was put together. Stones and glass houses come to mind. If there is a God I hope we get a result tomorrow, but we are Pompey, playing away, and we invariably don't turn up for these occasions. If they score an early goal .......... PUP
17/01/2009 12:07:00
Harry is part of our history, twice, he asked to be forgiven once and was. What he has done now is appalling and will not be forgotten. He did a job for us, took us to the Premiership and to the Cup Final, but we supported him all the way, and followed the team as only we can. He will never change his morals and will unsettle players till he gets them playing for him, Palacios will be next and then Bellamy. He will then turn his attention to a goalkeeper, probably Given and then secure him. Spurs will move forward, but Harry will wheel and deal like no other to get there. I do fear for us tomorrow though, and it could be a long afternoon for us.
17/01/2009 12:21:00
I've said before, if the team can't motivate themselves for this one, then they never will. The Spuds don't really have anything to prove, after all, they got their manager and little chav git of a player - no, it's us who should be up for this and desperate to show Redknapp that he made a (nother) mistake. The team have a chance to put a huge grin on 250,000 faces for a week and a smile thereafter for the rest of the season. Just think about winning 3-0 for a few moments . . . . . . . . . there, see? Come on team, if we only win one more away game all season, let it be this one. Please.
17/01/2009 12:56:00
Et-tu - Made me smile mate and I'd have a smile as broad as a Cheshire Cat for a month I reckon. This is bigger for us than them by miles - It's not unreasonable to EXPECT 100% from every player in a blue shirt tomorrow as WITHOUT EXCEPTION Jamie's Dad brought them to the club and promised them what he promised us - Tomorrow a hero can be born - Step forward Mr NUGENT your time is NOW
17/01/2009 13:07:00
Point'll do for me
17/01/2009 13:09:00
..please don't mention 'Arnold Mvuemba Makengo' it kinda detracts from my point.
17/01/2009 13:10:00
We can all spit various doses of poison at anybody at justify it. The truth is facts tell enough of any story to justify a view. It didn't matter where HR went, it was the fact he went. I am so glad we had all the success that happened when he was manager & will never forget it but time moves on & so must we.
17/01/2009 13:31:00
You know if we win, he will bleat "I signed them all, thet are my players"
17/01/2009 14:21:00
Harry you did great things while at Pompey but twice you walked out with the job half done, to say you deserve a heroes welcome for what you've done is like me kicking a fare out of my cab half way to their destination and expecting them to treat me as the messiah.
Steve C
17/01/2009 15:48:00
The thing i really find hard to undrstand with harry and players is that despite having been around football all their lives they don't understand the passions it arises in supporters, i'd go so far as to say with many of them it's just a job they happen to be good at rather than something they love doing.
Steve C
17/01/2009 15:52:00
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