Harry Redknapp has been out of football for 13 months, and suddenly he has two jobs – one in England and one outside.
The 69-year-old former Tottenham, QPR, and West Ham manager has been hired by Championship side Derby County to advise head coach Darren Wassall until the end of the season.
Redknapp’s goal with the Rams will be promotion. Derby has just missed promotion two seasons in a row, losing in the playoff final 1-0 to QPR in 2014 before missing out on the playoffs by a single point the following year.
“The call from Derby came completely out of the blue but this is an exciting challenge and hopefully we can finish the season in the play-off final at Wembley,” Redknapp said. “I know the Championship, I know how difficult it can be and my experience will hopefully prove invaluable.
According to Redknapp, his role will be unlike a director of football role, instead solely serving in an advisory position. “I never thought I’d become a director of football but my role at Derby is completely different and it is only going to run until the end of the season, when I hope we will all be celebrating promotion back to the Premier League.”
Wassall was hired in February to replace the fired Paul Clement. Because Redknapp’s position is only until the end of the season, he will not be involved in player recruitment, he confirmed.
In addition to his advisory role, Redknapp was hired to manage the Jordanian national team as they push for a spot in the 2018 World Cup. According to Redknapp, the role is likely temporary and was taken as a favor to former FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein.
“I’m friends with Prince Ali and wanted him to take over from Sepp Blatter,” Redknapp said. “He asked me if I’d manage the team for a couple of matches, and I agreed.”
He will first stay in England and help Wassall with their match against Nottingham Forest on Saturday. He will then head out to Jordan to prepare for a pair of massive games against Bangaladesh and Australia. Six points from those two matches could assure them of advancement into the third and final round of Asian qualification. Anything less would leave their fate in the balance, although four or even three points would go a long way.
“I’ll go to the Forest game and then go straight to London and fly to Jordan,” Redknapp said. “It’s a busy time but I’ve missed the buzz of being involved in football.”
It’s unclear if Redknapp will continue to manage Jordan following those two matches.