‘Marcus loved him and offered him the job’ - Redknapp claims Evans wanted Lampard at Ipswich
- Credit: Archant
Harry Redknapp has claimed Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans offered Frank Lampard the job at Portman Road in the summer of 2018.
Lampard, currently in charge of Chelsea, was one of four men to reach the final stages of Evans’ recruitment process – alongside Jack Ross, Graham Potter and Paul Hurst – when the Town owner was looking to replace Mick McCarthy.
Evans and Redknapp have known each other for many years and the latter has suggested his nephew was offered the job at Portman Road, having been interviewed, only for the Derby vacancy to become available. However, it’s understood Lampard was not formally offered the role at Portman Road.
“I got him the job at Ipswich,” Redknapp said in an interview with Sky Sports News. “I phoned Marcus Evans and said ‘listen, you need a manager’ and Frank Lampard’s your man. Marcus loved him and offered him the job.
“But Frank said ‘Harry, it’s difficult because they’ve got no budget and I can’t bring any players in, what can I do?’
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“I said ‘it’s a great club, Ipswich but you’re going to need a bit of help because you haven’t got a magic wand’. Suddenly the Derby job became available and I rang Mel Morris. He has a house up the road from me and we got on ever-so-well.”
Redknapp also recalled how he persuaded Derby owner Morris to take a chance on the former England international.
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“He was going to go for an experienced manager but I told him ‘you keep getting managers and then getting rid of them, you’ve not been very clever – take Frank Lampard’. Lots of great managers have gone straight from playing, people like Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish.
“I told Mel, Frank knows the game and is a great professional so he’ll be fantastic and bring so much to Derby County.
“Mel said he’d consider Frank as an assistant but I said ‘no, he wants to be a manager so please meet him’. I made a meeting the next day and they met a 7pm. Mel rang be at 8.30pm and said ‘he’s blown me away – I’ve given him the job’.
“That was it. I had no doubt he would be a success because he’s a bright lad, he knows the game. He’ll be amazing.”
Evans appointed Hurst just days after his Shrewsbury side had lost the League One play-off final to Rotherham, with the Town owner insisting at the time that he had always been his ‘first choice’.
“Having spoken with Paul it reaffirmed why he had always been my top target since day one in the recruitment process,” Evans said at the time.
Lampard was in charge of Derby for one season, which ended in defeat in the Championship play-off final, before taking the top job at Stamford Bridge last summer.