Redknapp on the brink of Spurs exit as crisis talks fail

 

HARRY REDKNAPP is on the brink of being dismissed at Tottenham Hotspur after the chairman, Daniel Levy, refused to grant him the contract and assurances that he wanted. The manager has been forced to confront his exit strategy, which involves reaching a settlement on the final 12 months of his deal.

A parting of the ways is imminent, with lawyers from both sides having met to discuss a settlement on the remaining year of Redknapp’s contract, which is worth £3 million (€3.7 million). Levy has made Everton’s David Moyes his number one choice to take over.

Moyes has 12 months to run on his Goodison Park contract and, despite several conversations with the chairman, Bill Kenwright, since the end of the season, he has yet to commit to an extension to his 10-year tenure.

The 49-year-old plans to hold further talks with Kenwright as he seeks assurances over Everton’s future and a transfer budget and, although that is likely to prove a source of frustration once again, he has no intention to quit the club this summer. That stance may change, however, if he receives an approach from Tottenham and they make it plain that he is their top target.

There has been no approach so far from Tottenham to Moyes, who is on holiday in the US and is due to travel to the European Championships in the next few days.

Roberto Martínez of Wigan Athletic also has his admirers in the White Hart Lane boardroom. Martinez was a candidate to succeed Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool, only for the Merseyside club to appoint Brendan Rodgers.

Redknapp has gone on the offensive in recent weeks, appointing the agent Paul Stretford to handle his demand for what is effectively a new four-year contract and urging Levy to tie him down quickly in order to avoid unsettling the players.

But Levy has grown frustrated with Redknapp for a number of reasons, chief among them the disastrous finish to the season that he oversaw, which culminated in Tottenham missing out on Champions League qualification. Levy felt that Redknapp’s courting of the then vacant England job was disrespectful to Tottenham and also led Redknapp to lose focus.

When it seemed that the Football Association was likely to offer Redknapp the England job, the manager cooled on new contract talks at Tottenham and there was an argument over the high compensation figure that Levy indicated he would demand in the event of an official approach from the FA.

Roy Hodgson, though, was appointed to the top job and he is leading England at Euro 2012 while Redknapp has been left to reflect upon a whirlwind change of personal fortune.

On February 11th, Tottenham beat Newcastle United 5-0 to move to within four points of the title pace and 10 clear of Arsenal and Chelsea in joint-fourth. Three days earlier, Redknapp had been acquitted of tax evasion at Southwark crown court in London and, following Fabio Capello’s resignation, installed as the favourite to succeed him as the England manager. He is now contemplating being without a job.

Redknapp’s suggestion about the security of his longer-term future being the key to that of the squad’s leading players went down badly with Levy, who has made it clear that Redknapp’s position was nowhere near strong enough to say such things.

Redknapp’s demand for a lucrative contract to take him past his 69th birthday has also been dismissed, with Levy making it clear that he would offer him nothing of the sort. There has been the suggestion of conflict over Redknapp’s prospective summer transfer kitty.

It has added up to a vote of no confidence in Redknapp, although he has said that he has no intention of resigning. He took over from Juande Ramos in October 2008 with the team at the foot of the Premier League table, with two points from eight games and he lifted them to a fourth-placed finish in 2009-2010 and a glorious Champions League campaign the following season.

Last time out, though, the failure to qualify for Europe’s elite competition represented the first backwards step of his tenure. Although Tottenham finished fourth, Chelsea’s Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich saw them snatch England’s final place in next season’s competition.