Harry Redknapp has claimed that despite meeting with two members of the supposed Blues board, he was not entirely sure who was actually in charge of the club.
The former Birmingham City manager helped save the club from relegation at the back end of the 2016/17 season with a win on the final day at Ashton Gate against Bristol City, and signed with the club permanently the following season.
Redknapp only kept hold of his job for a month however after 5 straight defeats at the start of the 2017/18 campaign, with CEO Xuandong Ren making the decision to sack the former Tottenham Hotspur boss, later replacing him with Steve Cotterill.
In a recent Zoom call with Chris Skudder, Redknapp admitted that despite meeting certain figures of the club who claimed to be the owners, he was left questioning whether they were in fact part of the club’s hierarchy.
He said: “It was Dong’s (Xuandong Ren) first experience in football, he probably found it difficult. It was a difficult time, it wasn’t an easy period. I always felt after three of four games I was in trouble, like I said when you lost, it was like the world was coming to an end.
“They’ve had some good managers since then and have all gone, so you have to ask yourself. It’s all a bit strange.
“I met up with Dong, that’s it. I’m not sure which one was the owner, there were two gentlemen there I met, and I’m not sure who was who really. I couldn’t put my life on who was the boss and who wasn’t.”
Redknapp was also quizzed on whether he met Mr King, who’s identity remains a mystery since his part in the takeover of the club back in 2016.
“Maybe, he didn’t speak English really, so I had no conversation really. Dong would speak to them. Listen, they spent money, we spent money when I was there, but they wasn’t all my choices.
“I’d be lying to you if I said I knew the owner’s name.”
The popular figure from East London was given sufficient funds back in 2017 to try and push for a more successful campaign following the near scare of the drop the season before, and added the likes of David Stockdale, Marc Roberts and Cheikh N’Doye to the squad.
But despite this, Redknapp has gone on record to suggest that the club’s owners turned down his top transfer targets, with moves for Aden Flint and Stewart Downing failing to materialise.
He stated: “I came in, loved every minute of it, it was great and we stayed up, which was a fantastic feat. And then I came back the next season, but it wasn’t easy. I found when you got a bad result, it was like the world was coming to an end and a lot of the players I was trying to get, I couldn’t get them and I was getting players that other people seemed to want.”
Since ‘Arry’s departure in 2017, the club has gone on to appoint 3 coaches, with Pep Clotet falling the latest victim to the whirlwind that has been circling around St. Andrews for some time.
Footage emerged of fans appearing to confront Ren whilst in his car ahead of the final game of the season against Derby earlier this week, with protesters making their voices heard to Trillion Trophy Asia, who have overseen a decline in form over recent years since Gary Rowett’s dismissal back in 2016, coupled with close encounters with relegation and sanctions by the EFL due to poor handling of finances.