Humbug Harry still Christmas party pooper
Published 17/12/2011 | 05:00
Harry Redknapp continues to stand by his decision to forbid his Tottenham players from holding a Christmas party, claiming his young charges, rewarded handsomely for playing football, should be prepared to forego a team night out for the good of their brief careers.
Spurs' Essex training ground has this week been decked out in blue-and-white tinsel as the club get into the Christmas spirit, but Redknapp's outright ban on a party -- imposed two years ago after Robbie Keane and 15 team-mates travelled to Dublin without their manager's permission -- remains firmly in place, despite a number of rivals, including Manchester City, permitting their players a night of festive revelry.
Redknapp, who escaped a UEFA charge over a gesture to Shamrock fans on Thursday night, laughed off the suggestion his stance qualifies him as the Premier League's Grinch.
The age-old excuse that spending social time in each other's company proves beneficial on the pitch is misleading, according to the Spurs manager.
"We've had our Christmas party," Redknapp joked. "It was two years ago, and it was good, thanks. They enjoyed it.
"No, we are too busy playing football. There'll be no more Christmas parties. There are too many games. We have got to keep at it. They can have a Christmas party when they have a six-week holiday in the summer.
"They are earning fortunes, they have great careers, great lives, so they can get on with their football instead of causing problems at Christmas.
"If they can't behave themselves and if they have a problem because they miss having a drink, given the money they're earning, there is something wrong with them.
"If I said to you, you're going to earn £40,000-a-week but you can't go out at Christmas and have a drink, I think you'd be quite happy to take it." (© Independent News Service)