When Harry met…

When Harry met…
harry redknapp tells sky reporter to f off

Harry shares a joke about mutual relegation

QPR have confirmed that Harry Redknapp will remain their manager in the Championship.

Relegated from the Premier League last weekend, QPR must now set about cost cutting and allowing Redknapp to build a team capable of getting back up at the first attempt. That will not be easy.

I am not anti Redknapp. Far from it. I have spent many a happy hour in his company. But then I have known him since the late seventies.

I do squirm when some younger, former media colleagues speak to him as though he is their best mate. He is not. No manager is. Interviewing a manager post or pre-match does not make you their chum. Even when they share a joke with you.

My advice to younger reporters is this. Know your place. I am not suggesting you be obsequious. Not for a moment should you fawn or doff your cap to anyone you interview. But, equally, you should measure your words against the gravitas of the person you are talking to.

Speak to Harry Redknapp as you would his friend Sir Alex Ferguson. Treat all managers the same. Do not fall into the trap of thinking any one of them is your best pal.
They are not.

Managers will throw certain reporters a bone every now and then. Especially when they want something from that journalist. Newspaper and broadcaster sports reporters can be useful to managers. They will use them to “have a word with” a certain player they want to tap up but cannot be seen to approach.

Or maybe they have their eye on another job. “What’s the Chairman at such and such like? Put a word in for me next time.”

It takes decades to build a true friendship with anyone in the game of football. I have friends who are managers, ex managers or Chief Executives at football clubs because a) they were players when I was reporting b) they became contacts first and, latterly, friends c) I have stayed in touch with them d) they know I can be trusted.

Because a manager is good with the media leads reporters to be over familiar. Harry Redknapp has courted the media for years. He is partly to blame for incidents such as that below.

In 2010 Rob Palmer made the mistake of using words he would not have thrown at any other manager. Harry may have called himself a wheeler dealer in print in the past. But that is for him to say about himself.

It is not something a sharp suited whipper snapper from Sky Sports should say. I understand Palmer made his peace with Redknapp.

But all reporters should treat the people they are interviewing in a consistent fashion. Don’t grovel to them. Ask them difficult questions if the situation warrants (though leave the most difficult until the end of the interview).

With someone as experienced as Harry Redknapp you should take on the fact that he has forgotten more about football and football management than any young reporter will ever know.

The message is the same for all would be news, entertainment or sports reporters.





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