Redknapp hoping far immediate Premier League return
Harry Redknapp: “I won’t be going to a party if we win. I won’t be running around the streets, shouting and screaming. I’ll go and have a bit of pasta with my missus. But I’m confident.” Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Harry Redknapp is being Harry Redknapp, going through the old bare bones routine and explaining why it is a minor miracle Queens Park Rangers have made it this far – to the Championship play-off final against Derby County and the brink of an immediate return to the Premier League. ‘Could be in trouble’ “When I went to Peterborough in pre-season and got beat 1-0, I thought we could be in trouble,” the manager says. “We’d been to Exeter and nicked a 0-0 and then we got beat badly at Peterborough. I got a feeling that if we aren’t careful, we could do a Wolves this season.”
Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992-93, only 16 relegated clubs have won promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt. Worryingly for QPR, only two have done so via the play-offs – Leicester City in 1996 and West Ham in 2012.
Of the 25 senior players that finished the doomed Premier League season, only ten are at the club. Moreover, QPR have eight players out of contract in the summer and eight loanees whose agreements are set to expire after the play-off.
“I just think we’ve done well, to be fair,” Redknapp says. “If you think about it logically, we let a lot of good players go and we were almost throwing a team together at the start of the year. ‘Fantastic’ “But players have come in and played their part. The goalkeeper Rob Green has been fantastic; Danny Simpson, who I took from Newcastle, has done a great job; people like Clint Hill live and die for it; Joey Barton has been amazing all year and we’ve picked up Richard Dunne, after he didn’t play at all last season [at Aston Villa]. I’ve got no one you would call a big-time Charlie.”
QPR’s net debts stand at €220 million and with a wage bill, according to their most recent accounts, of €96 million, which was 128 per cent of the club’s turnover, they are simply desperate to reacquaint themselves with the Premier League’s riches.
Deloitte says victory today would be worth at least €150 million to Derby and at least €100 million to QPR.
Redknapp, though, continued to insist that he did not feel any greater pressure because of the debts. “I don’t feel it,” he says. “I don’t think about it. I’m just desperate to win for the nice people that own the club and for the fans. I won’t be going to a party if we win. I won’t be running around the streets, shouting and screaming. I’ll go and have a bit of pasta with my missus. But I’m confident.” – Guardian Service