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Redknapp fears foreign ownership will kill art of management

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 Sep 2008

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Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp fears the increase in foreign ownership of Premier League clubs could reduce managers to little more than puppets for their mega-rich employers.

Redknapp watched Manchster City's takeover this week by a United Arab Emirates-based group with concern because he believes it continued a trend of owners taking a dangerously hands-on role at their clubs.

The ink was barely dry on the memorandum of understanding signed by the Abu Dhabi United Group and City's outgoing owner Thaksin Shinwatra before the first major signing arrived at Eastlands on Monday.

City's 32.4 million pounds (37.7 million euros) swoop for Robinho sent shockwaves through the game but Redknapp is worried the Brazilian's arrival at Eastlands is the latest sign of a worrying trend.

He believes transfer policy will soon be dictated by owners competing for glamour signings rather than managers building a team.

“In future managers will not be responsible for buying and selling players,” said Redknapp, who works for Portsmouth's Russian owner Alexandre Gaydamak.

“So many owners with huge financial clout are coming in now and they're the ones who will buy and sell the players.

“The manager's job will only be about coaching and picking the team.

“Managers as we know them now could be a thing of the past within the next decade. I can see the manager's role being reduced.

“Now owners will go 'we'll have him, him and him' and the managers must get on with it.

“For sure that's detrimental to football and the art of football management.

“No disrespect to (Manchester City boss) Mark Hughes but look what happened with Robinho,” he said.

“Robinho is a great player but it was the new owner who wanted him and got him.

“I'm sure Mark was as surprised as anyone. He was out playing golf that day and suddenly he's got Robinho.

“It used to be that you'd want a feel for the player to know if he's the type of lad you want at your club and to play for you.”

With so much money being spent by foreign owners, Redknapp is convinced managers like Hughes will be out of work quickly if they don't deliver.

“Managers will have to pick the big names bought by the owners and if they're not successful they'll suffer.

“There will be more and more mega-rich owners coming from abroad and there will be more and more interference.

“Players will be given to the manager, who won't have a whole lot of input into the process.

“Soon every club in the Premiership will be owned by mega-rich foreign investors. That's how it will go.

“Every one of them will want to win the Premier League and the Champions League.

“But only two sides can do that so it will become even harder for managers as they pay the price. It will be like a revolving door.

“Owners will say 'I've put 100million pounds into football why aren't I winning the Premier League?'”

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damien kennerk

I agree 100% with Harry Redknap on this issue.With these high powered investors coming into clubs,there is a great danger they will turn into dictators,with a complete monopoly on the clubs.A lot of of these don’t have much knowledge of the game,the way managers do.The bigwigs should step aside.Its up to them to get somebody with the right cv.Then with the appointment implemented let the manager take care of team affairs!

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