After over a year without a club, former West Ham and Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has today joined Championship side Derby County, the club have confirmed.
Redknapp joins the club in what is being called a “football advisory role” to assist interim head coach Darren Wassall before a full review of the club’s coaching structure is carried out at the end of the season.
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) March 16, 2016
The 69-year-old had been unemployed since February 2015 having walked out on Queens Park Rangers less than 24 hours after the closure of the January transfer window – despite the suspect timing of his resignation, Redknapp insisted that troublesome knees were the cause of his departure.
Despite walking away from Loftus Road and having dodgy knees, he had always maintained a desire to return to top level management in a career that has so far consisted of almost 1,400 matches in all competitions.
— World Soccer Talk (@worldsoccertalk) February 4, 2015
Wassell has been in temporary charge at Pride Park since early February. The club’s previous manager, Paul Clement was sacked after a winless eight-game run knocked them out of the automatic promotion spots and left them languishing (if you can even call it that) in fifth place in the Championship table.
Curiously, Redknapp will combine this role with that of managing the Jordanian national team on a short-term contract. Ex-FIFA Presidential candidate – and president of the Jordanian FA – Prince Ali bin Al Hussein personally asked the 2008 FA Cup winner if he would take charge of the national side for two upcoming games, so it looks as though Redknapp will be leading Jordan out against Bangladesh and Australia in two World Cup qualifiers.
In his first interview since taking the role, Redknapp spoke of his happiness about returning to the dugout and how impressed he was with his new club:
“From the first conversation I had with the chairman (Mel Morris) it was clear he has exciting plans for the football club.
“I am delighted to be able to help out and am looking forward to working with Darren and his team.”