After leaving Queens Park Rangers in February 2015, Harry Redknapp has been out of club management since. Until now.
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On Tuesday it was announced that Redknapp, 70, has taken over beleaguered Birmingham City for the final few games of their second-tier season.
With Birmingham three points above the relegation zone with three games to go — Gianfranco Zola resigned on Monday after an awful run at St Andrews saw his team slip from just outside the playoffs to the edge of the relegation zone following Gary Rowett’s shock firing — Redknapp has only agreed to take charge until the end of this season.
His remit is simple: keep Birmingham in the Championship.
“Birmingham are a proper football club but they are in a precarious position,” Redknapp told talkSPORT radio. “I got a phone call last night at 7pm from the people at Birmingham. I drove to London and had a 10-15-minute meeting with them and said: ‘I’ll come and do it.’ My wife said to me ‘are you mad or what?’ but I get fed up sitting around doing nothing.”
If Redknapp succeeds in keeping Birmingham up then he will sit down with the owners and chairman of the club at the end of the campaign to talk about the future and potentially building a squad capable of challenging for promotion to the Premier League.
What lies ahead for Redknapp in the short term?
It’s a tough end to the season for the Blues who have bitter rivals Aston Villa at Villa Park this weekend, before hosting fourth-place Huddersfield and then traveling to fellow relegation candidates Bristol City on the final day of the season.
Redknapp took his first management job 34 years ago at Bournemouth and has had six club management jobs since then at West Ham, Tottenham, Portsmouth (twice), Southampton and QPR.
He has tons of experience winning promotion from the second-tier with Portsmouth and QPR, plus he took Tottenham to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals and the top four of the Premier League.
In the next few weeks Redknapp will need to use all of that experience and nous to guide Birmingham away from the drop zone.