Harry Redknapp has revealed that former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley previously offered him a private jet to go and return from training every day to land the manager in demand.
Redknapp was at the top of Ashley’s wishlist at the time, having guided Portsmouth to a surprise FA Cup victory over Cardiff in 2008.
Newcastle had recently parted ways with Sam Allardyce and was a year into Ashley’s tenure which started with far more hope than how it ended.
The retail mogul had plentiful cash at the time and was looking to back his new purchase, going so far as to pay for a daily private jet in order to secure his best candidate in training.
Redknapp revealed the offer almost tempted him to join the club and commute from his luxury home in Sandbanks on the South Coast.
“What they told me was very, very tempting,” Redknapp said. “Not least because, whatever apartment they bought from me, they were ready to lie down in a private plane from Bournemouth Airport at 7am every morning.
“Then around five o’clock they would take me home if I didn’t want to stand, so I could still live here if I wanted to.”
“I have to admit I thought about it very seriously and at one point it was really ‘Why not?’
Redknapp ultimately turned down the offer, remaining in Portsmouth, but only until October, when he later moved to Tottenham.
The 74-year-old enjoyed success at Spurs, taking them to the Champions League, and was regularly linked with work in England.
However, Redknapp’s career path might have been very different had he accepted the job in the Northeast, but there was a factor that caused him to oppose it.
“It’s such a huge club, with a huge fan base, and it has always had huge potential,” he explained.
“But the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t think it could work. As soon as we lost a few, the Geordies would get angry with me by flying across the country every day.
“I really didn’t want that so at the end I said no … but there is no doubt that I was really influenced for a while because they are such a fantastic club. “
Redknapp announced his retirement from management in 2017 after short stays in Birmingham and the Jordan national team.
Play talkSPORT Selector and you could win a lot of money
- Win a share of £ 25,000 +
- Pick a Premier League team to win each week
- Entrances cost £ 10
- 18+ please play responsibly, gambleaware.org
- register here