Redknapp promised transfer kitty

May 18, 2008

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp has been promised a summer transfer kitty to prepare the club for Europe after winning the FA Cup at Wembley.

Defeating Cardiff 1-0 earned qualification to the UEFA Cup which is expected to be used as a bargaining tool to attract players to Fratton Park, with Redknapp effectively being given a job for life if he wants it.

'We're not going to stand still now, we have to build on it,' said Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie. 'We're looking to bring more players in over the summer and strengthen the team.

'We had a great season finishing eighth in the Premier League and we want to try to do even better than we have this season.

'We've got quality players and now at our level we have to bring in more quality players and widen the squad a bit.'

Redknapp returned from rivals Southampton in 2005 and inspired an unlikely escape from Premier League relegation before building a team with European ambitions.

Pompey fans gave him the loudest cheer when he lifted the trophy on Saturday, marking a dramatic and emotional season for Redknapp.

He could have left for Newcastle before Kevin Keegan's appointment, while off the pitch he has been coming to terms with the death of his sister-in-law Pat Lampard, mother of Chelsea midfielder Frank.

'He was always going to get the biggest cheer,' Storrie added. 'There will be statues at the ground now of him.

'There were reasons why Harry left (to join Southampton). He's come back, he obviously didn't leave us for Newcastle and that decision is well justified now and it's now our job to go forward and win more trophies.

'Harry's on a long contract. He's here as long as he wants to be here. I think that will be for a long, long while. This is his team. He built this team and wants to take them to the next level.

'I think he'd go barmy if he packed up! He'd be ringing me up saying `Take me back quick'. This has been very emotional, and you expect that from Harry.

'As long he wants to, with the hunger he has now he'll be doing it for many seasons. I think he'll get the freedom of the city!'

Kanu, who tapped in the winner against Cardiff, explained how important Redknapp has been to Pompey's success.

'Everyone wants to play under him, he is someone very special,' said the Nigeria veteran. 'No-one knows how he does it. He brings the best out of the players.

'He tells you what you want to here. He psychs you up and tries to give you the belief by saying you're the best. He knows what I can do. He said 'King, go and do your stuff, you're the best'. When you hear that from your gaffer you want to do something for him.'

Kanu played enough games this season to trigger another year on his contract and he could extend his deal even further.

'A lot of people ask questions about me and I keep coming out with the answers,' he said. 'This is talent, I have to work hard and the edge is there.'