Harry Redknapp bids fairwell to Spurs

Tottenham sack manager Harry Redknapp after a topsy-turvy season that ended in Champions League disappointment.

Harry Redknapp
After being cleared for tax evasion, Redknapp was touted for England position while Spurs slumped [GALLO/GETTY]

Harry Redknapp’s successful and eventful spell as Tottenham Hotspur manager ended on Thursday, the club dismissing he man who took them from the bottom of the Premier League to victories over European giants.

Redknapp, heavily linked to the England job before the Football Association appointed Roy Hodgson last month, had one-year remaining on his contract and said in recent weeks he hoped to renew it.

But after a rollercoaster season where Spurs narrowly missed out on a place in the Champions League after pushing for the title, and Redknapp was cleared of tax evasion by an English court, chairman Daniel Levy decided a change was necessary.

“This is not a decision the board and I have taken lightly,” Levy told the club’s website in the early hours of the morning.

“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.”

Redknapp’s departure came a day after Roberto Di Matteo signed a two-year contract to be full-time manager of Chelsea. 

The position was the Italian’s reward for winning the Champions League, a result that kicked Tottenham out of next year’s tournament and may have contributed to the board’s decision to sack Redknapp.   

New direction 

However, Redknapp said the club had simply wanted a change and qualifying for the Champions League would not have changed that.

“We finished fourth and were unlucky at the end,” he told Sky Sports television before heading off for a round of golf.

“But I think the same outcome would have happened. 

“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.”

The 65-year-old said he would look for another job in soccer, declared himself “fit as a fiddle” and would not be sitting around moping.

“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

Harry Redknapp

Redknapp added the England speculation and contract negotiations were not the reasons for his departure.

He was appointed manager in October 2008 after Juande Ramos was sacked with the club bottom of the league with two points from eight matches.

Former West Ham United, Southampton and Portsmouth manager Redknapp resurrected their fortunes and took them to the League Cup final that season where they were beaten by Manchester United on penalties.

Further success came the following year when he led them to the Champions League for the first time after a fourth-place Premier League finish and collected the manager of the year award.

However, after being cleared for tax evasion in 2012, Spurs slumped in the Premier League while their manager was linked to the empty England role. The killer blow was delivered when Chelsea knocked their London rivals out of next year’s Champions League with victory in the final against Bayern Munich.

After the news broke, bookmakers installed Everton manager David Moyes and Wigan Athletic’s Roberto Martinez as early favourites to replace Redknapp in a highly coveted role, especially as Levy is likely to provide significant financial backing.

But with speculation swirling over the futures of gifted midfielders Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, the immediate concern of Spurs fans will be that nobody else follows Redknapp out of White Hart Lane.

Source: News Agencies