British sports journalists are in shock today after Harry Redknapp issued a firm “no comment” over the footballing story of the day for the first time in his managerial career. The news broke during Redknapp’s pre-match press conference on the eve of Tottenham’s game against Chelsea this weekend, when a lazy tabloid journalist, fancying an easy day, teed up Redknapp with a question about an inconsequential footballing story about a man being refused entry to a Championship ground last night because he was wearing a t-shirt with ‘aggressive lapels’.
“To be honest, I don’t really have an opinion on that,” said the meaty-jowled Spurs supremo when asked to vent his spleen. The Sun said its sports editor was “remaining calm” while The Mirror has issued a statement denying reports that it had sent a reporter to Blackpool as an extreme measure to canvas rent-a-quote Ian Holloway’s reaction.
Redknapp’s reaction ‘shocked and appalled’ his interviewer, who was left open-mouthed as Harry walked calmly to his car, got in and drove at a moderate speed away from the scene. Onlookers were left rubbing their eyes in disbelief as Redknapp even had time to stop on his way to refuse a mysterious brown envelope from a shady-looking man in a long overcoat. The journalist in question stumbled away from the scene, looking stunned and continually mumbling: “But, but…why..?” under his breath, before collapsing onto a bench and vomiting loudly into a nearby bin.
“Redknapp’s behaviour has become worryingly sensible and rational” said Phileus McWhirter, a behavioural psychologist, today. “He just seems to be behaving like a normal human being. It’s very worrying for all concerned, and one just hopes that he snaps out of it soon, and resumes normal service of doing sports journalists jobs for them.”
Redknapp is said to be focusing on preparing Spurs for their upcoming weekend fixture, and no journalist has dared approach him for comment since. Meanwhile, the NUJ has opened a helpline for families of sports journalists who fear they may have been unduly affected by the incident.