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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 13:16 GMT
Redknapp quits as Portsmouth boss
Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp has resigned as manager of Portsmouth.

Redknapp said his decision was not a result of his row with chairman Milan Mandaric over the appointment of Velimir Zajec as executive director.

"It is something I have been thinking about for a while. I made it without any pressure from the chairman or the board," said Redknapp.

Assistant Jim Smith is also set to leave the club, leaving Zajec to take temporary charge of first-team affairs.

Smith said: "We've had a great two-and-a-half years, as good as I ever had.

"It's been fantastic. I'm proud to have been able to work with someone as good at the game as Harry is."

Asked to confirm that Redknapp had left for personal reasons, Smith added: "I don't know the truth, you'll have to ask the chairman."

Harry and I remain great friends
Pompey chairman
Milan Mandaric

Smith added: "I have not formally resigned but, following Harry's resignation, I would like to leave. I came here with Harry and I would like to leave with Harry.

"I have therefore agreed to meet club officials and come to a financial agreement to do so."

At a news conference to announce his plans, Redknapp, 57, said he had not made any decisions about his future.

However, Redknapp did reveal last week that he would consider trying to buy Bournemouth, the club he first managed and the one nearest his home.

"I will now spend a short period of time to rest, recharge my batteries before contemplating my future," he said.

"I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to the chairman and his board for their support, to the players and all the supporters who have been absolutely fantastic to me and the club during my time at Portsmouth FC."

Redknapp took over as manager at Fratton Park in March 2002 and led the club to Premiership promotion the following year.

The club made a strong start to this season, and Redknapp was named manager of the month in October.

However, his relationship with Mandaric has increasingly come under the spotlight.

Last season he threatened to quit when he believed Mandaric was planning to sack Smith and he again said he was considering leaving when Zajec was appointed.

Mandaric, who did not attend the news conference because of a prior commitment, paid tribute to Redknapp via a statement.

"Harry and I remain great friends," he said.

"I have tremendous admiration and respect for where he has taken this club - a feat several managers before him could not get near to."

And the chairman also sought to play down rumours that Redknapp had quit over the row between the pair.

"People will obviously make their own minds up and say that Harry has stepped down for the reasons that have been intensely speculated over in the media," he said.

"That could not be further from the truth but then the speculations were pretty wide of the mark also.

"The truth is Harry sees this as a perfect opportunity to bow out."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Portsmouth defender David Unsworth


News conference: Harry Redknapp


News conference: Milan Mandaric & Harry Redknapp




SEE ALSO
Carry on Harry
25 Nov 04 |  Fun and Games
Redknapp fury at director reports
11 Nov 04 |  Portsmouth



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