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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Watch: Harry Redknapp hits out at 'scandalous' early season sackings of Premier League managers

Harry Redknapp has described the recent managerial sackings in the Premier League as “scandalous” after Ronald Koeman was dismissed this week by Everton.

The Dutchman became the third manager to lose his job this season, with Frank de Boer ousted last month at Crystal Palace and Craig Shakespeare relieved last week of his duties at Leicester City.

With Slaven Bilic rumoured to be two matches from being sacked at West Ham United, one fifth of the managers that began the 2017/18 campaign could be gone little more than a quarter into the season.

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Redknapp is out of work since being dismissed as Birmingham City manager last month following a run of six straight defeats with the English Championship club. The former West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur manager, in Dubai this week to take part in Thursday’s ‘Swing Against Cancer’ Golf Series finale, said the short shelf-life managers experience is a concern.

"If you get relegated with a decent enough team you think ‘well OK, it hasn’t worked out’,” he said. “But to start sacking people seven, eight, nine, 10 games into a season is scandalous really.

“It can turn so quickly. How many times have you seen teams get off to a bad start and then come with a run? There’s reasons behind it in lots of cases. To rush in and sack managers so quickly... if [Claudio] Ranieri can get the sack anyone can. He’s won the title with Leicester.

“How do you win the Premier League with Leicester? You should be given a five-year free pass, whatever happens in the next five years, you’re here. That tells you everything about how it’s gone now.

“And Slaven, to tell him he’s got two games or three games, what pressure to put somebody under. It must be so difficult. The players know that. How are they going to react on Saturday? You hope they’re going to go out and give everything for him. But the pressure is definitively very difficult now.”

Redknapp said he sympathised with Koeman, with Everton’s reported £144 million (Dh677.5m) outlay this summer raising expectations significantly at the club despite not necessarily being well spent. Everton are currently third from bottom having gleaned eight points from nine matches.

Asked if managers have become the most disposal figures at clubs, Redknapp said: "Absolutely. And you read reasons why they get the sack. I was reading yesterday that the [Everton] players had to wait to get their food at training until [Koeman] and his staff got theirs. Well if that’s what he did, Bobby Robson used to do that. I’m sure [Koeman] did it last year and he did well last year.

"I’m sure he did it at Southampton and he did well there. Getting his food before players isn’t going to turn them into bad players. But it’s every little reason why they have not been successful. People always dig up silly things that really are not relevant, but that’s how it’s gone now. It’s very difficult.

“It’s gone crazy. I was brought up at West Ham - they had something like four managers in 68 years going back to Ron Greenwood, John Lyall. They had relegations and promotions, but they didn’t get sacked.

“The owners were stable, believed in the manager. But now you lose a few games and you lose your job. Owners and everything that goes with it: the pressure, everyone’s got opinions, we have TV, phone-ins, pressure.

“The pressure mounts very quickly and you’ve impatient owners who really don’t understand the game.”

Harry Redknapp will compete on Thursday at the ‘Swing Against Cancer’ Golf Series finale at Jumeirah Golf Estates, organised by Sixteen10 and Worldwide Golf. To purchase tickets, email info@sixteen-10.com or to find out more visit swingagainstcancerauction.com.

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