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Tuesday 22 July 2014

Redknapp: Battles among agents are 'like gang warfare'

HARRY REDKNAPP has washed his hands of all involvement in QPR's transfer negotiations because of the "gang warfare" among agents which he today compared to Glasgow's infamous "Ice Cream Wars".

Redknapp has been largely frustrated in his bid to sign new players this month, with Tal Ben-Haim and Loic Remy the only two fresh faces to arrive at the west London club during the transfer window.

Although Redknapp pipped Newcastle to the signing of Remy, he lost out in his bid to sign Yann M'Vila, who moved to Rubin Kazan, and Moussa Sissoko, who looks set to move to St James' Park. The Rangers boss also sounded pessimistic about the prospect of signing targets Rolando, Peter Odemwingie, Etienne Capoue and Mohamed Diame before Thursday's 11pm deadline.

Redknapp believes a large part of the problem for QPR has been the actions of football agents.

"This transfer window, I have never seen anything like it. Every agent seems to be trying to screw each other," the QPR boss told a press conference ahead of tonight's game against Manchester City. "It's like gang warfare out there -- it's scary. If you're trying to get a player another agent will try to scupper that deal if he's not involved in it to try to get you to have one of his. It's unreal, unbelievable.

"They're all fighting for big money -- that's the problem."

Redknapp went to France to speak to Remy and M'Vila and also travelled to Porto to see if he could persuade Rolando to join his quest to keep QPR in the Premier League. He will not partake in a last-minute tour across Europe in the coming days, however, as he refuses to get involved with agents anymore.

There was a big smile across his face when he compared the situation to the so-called Ice-Cream Wars -- a deadly 1980s turf war that broke out between rival gangs in Glasgow who used to sell drugs and stolen goods from inside ice-cream vans.

But there was no mistaking Redknapp's seriousness when he declared his annoyance at the network of agents clubs have to deal with these days -- a scenario he never encountered when he first went in to management 30 years ago. "It's a bit like ice-cream sellers in Glasgow," said Redknapp, speaking of the 1980s conflict which cost six lives.

"If someone has nicked their pitch, someone's gonna' shoot them or something! It's not just the person who deals with the players, it's dealing with the person who controls the player, who wants to be in on the deal as well.

"I have left it to the chairman, it was doing my head in. It's crazy.



TEA

"I signed Tony Pulis one night at Newport. I turned up to watch him, three hours drive, I got there and he wasn't even playing. He was sitting having a cup of tea in a little hut 10 minutes before kick-off. He didn't have an agent. I took him on a free transfer."

Meanwhile, QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has vowed to remain at the club. Some Rangers fans hit out at Fernandes on Saturday following QPR's 4-2 defeat by MK Dons, prompting the Malaysian businessman to declare he would quit if he could not turn things around. But he has reneged on the pledge, tweeting: "Fantastic response from QPR fans. I'm a fighter so if fans want me to stay I stay whatever happens."

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