Saturday 20 January 2018

Harry Redknapp says failure to reach Champions League not a factor in sacking

End of the line: Harry Redknapp is no longer the manager of Tottenham Hotspur. Photo: PA
End of the line: Harry Redknapp is no longer the manager of Tottenham Hotspur. Photo: PA

Harry Redknapp feels he would have been sacked even if Tottenham had qualified for the Champions League.

Spurs confirmed the 65-year-old's departure in the early hours of this morning after negotiations over a contract extension with chairman Daniel Levy broke down.

Redknapp believes this outcome was inevitable, regardless of what happened on the pitch - with Spurs losing out on Champions League football again despite finishing fourth in the Barclays Premier League, because of Chelsea's Champions League final triumph over Bayern Munich last month.

"We finished fourth and were unlucky at the end, but I think the same outcome would have happened," Redknapp said on BBC Radio Five Live.

"Even if we had finished fourth, the chairman would have gone down the same road. But that is football.

"I had four great years at Spurs. All you can do is leave the club in a better state than you found it and I did that, for sure."

Everton manager David Moyes was this morning the odds-on favourite to replace Redknapp, who transformed the fortunes of the north London club since taking charge in October 2008.

Chairman Levy said it was not a decision the board had made lightly.

A statment on the club's official website read: "Harry arrived at the club at a time when his experience and approach was exactly what was needed.

"This decision in no way detracts from the excellent work Harry has done during his time with the club and I should like to thank him for his achievements and contribution.

"Harry will always be welcome at the Lane."

In his first full season in charge Redknapp guided Spurs to fourth position, taking them into the Champions League for the first time.

Spurs played some exhilarating football on their way to the quarter-finals, before being knocked out by Real Madrid.

Since then Redknapp has twice failed to secure Champions League football at White Hart Lane, albeit with a touch of misfortune this season as Chelsea snatched the last available place away from them.

That capped a dramatic season for Redknapp, who underwent a heart procedure in November, was cleared of tax evasion in February and missed out on the England job in May.

In the past week Redknapp made it known he would be uncomfortable heading into the new season without a longer deal while also defending his relationship with Levy.

It has been claimed, however, that Levy was only willing to offer Redknapp a rolling 12-month contract whereas the former Portsmouth manager is thought to have wanted a longer deal that would have made the London club his last job in management.

Redknapp's future remains uncertain, but the former West Ham boss could now be set for a move overseas, with a long-standing offer of a coaching role in Dubai said to be on the table.

Tottenham have yet to confirm any details of the compensation package agreed or whether any of Redknapp's backroom staff, including Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond, will remain at the club.

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