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By ESPN Staff

Portsmouth mess is ''not my fault'', says Redknapp

Harry Redknapp has a message for any Portsmouth fans who blame him for the financial meltdown at the club: ''It's not my fault.''

The Tottenham manager returns to Fratton Park for the first time since his move to White Hart Lane 12 months ago. He is likely to receive a volatile reception from sections of the Portsmouth supporters, but Redknapp, who won the FA Cup with Portsmouth last year, believes he has no case to answer.

Redknapp said: ''Without what I did financially they wouldn't be there. I bought players and sold them for massive profits. The wages they earned was nothing to do with me. I have no input into that.

''Lassana Diarra cost £7.5 million including his wages and they got £22 million for him. All I did was make them money. If they hadn't had such an astute manager who was so good in the transfer market they would have been skint.

''There was no money coming in from the owner. The only thing which kept them going was the buying and selling of players. Everyone goes on about Pompey being £35 million or £40 million in debt but that has nothing to do with me. That's to do with the people who handle the finances at the club.''

Redknapp has faced criticism for assembling a star-studded, high-earning line-up on the south coast which included Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe, who he then took to Tottenham. Niko Kranjkar will also return to his former club after being snapped up by Redknapp in the transfer window.

Yet Redknapp said: ''If you can't afford a player they shouldn't buy him, should they? I can't go to Daniel Levy (Tottenham's chairman) and say I want to sign Ronaldo. He'll say we can't afford him and that's the end of that.

''That's how football works. We pick the teams. We don't have any input into negotiations or wages. That's gone way out of football people's hands years and years ago.''

Redknapp believes Portsmouth fans should remember when he arrived for his second spell the club were in disarray at the bottom of the Premier League.

He said: ''Dejan Stefanovic (former Portsmouth captain) said to me in the first training session 'You must be mad gaffer coming back here. This is the worst team I've ever seen.' And after two days on the training pitch I realised he was right.''

Meanwhile, Redknapp has revealed the extent of the abuse he received from a minority of Portsmouth fans following his departure from the club last year.

He explained: ''People say 'I hope you get cancer' and 'I hope you turn your car over and kill your wife'.

''They are not human beings. They need help as they can't be right, can they? It hurt, yes, they were from sickos.''


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