Redknapp says Champions League place would not have saved his job


HARRY REDKNAPP has said Daniel Levy would have sacked him at Tottenham Hotspur even if he had achieved the target for the season of Champions League qualification, as he expressed his disappointment at the decision and suggested that his face no longer fitted at the club.

Levy brought weeks of growing tension between the pair to a head on Wednesday when, after consulting with his board of directors, he informed Redknapp his near four-year tenure was over as the club wanted to pursue a fresh direction. The decision was confirmed in a statement released at 3.37am yesterday. Levy will now begin the search for Redknapp’s successor, with David Moyes at the forefront of his thinking.

It is not certain Moyes will be appointed as he remains committed to undertaking his preparations for the new season at Goodison Park. Moyes has returned to England from a break in the United States and he intends to travel to Euro 2012 on Monday. Neither he nor Everton has received any approach from Tottenham. But Moyes would, at the very least, give consideration to an offer.

Tottenham intend to engage in a process, which suggests other candidates would be considered. Levy is aware Rafael Benitez, the former Liverpool manager, who is out of work, would be receptive to an approach while Andre Villas-Boas, who was sacked last season by Chelsea, is also on the market.

Redknapp suggested that no matter what he did, his number was up at White Hart Lane. He guided the team to a fourth-placed Premier League finish but it was not enough to secure Champions League football, after Chelsea’s victory in the final over Bayern Munich.

“We finished fourth and were unlucky at the end but I think the same outcome would have happened,” Redknapp said.

“It’s always disappointing but that’s football. The people who run the club have to make decisions that they think are right and that’s their decision.

“I abide by it. I don’t spend my life holding grudges, thinking about what could have been. We all move on.”

Redknapp did, however, reflect on what might have been if he had been given longer in charge. He had wanted a long-term extension to his one-year contract but Levy refused to make him an offer.

Redknapp always felt that Tottenham “had a league title in them” and he continued to believe that he could have delivered it.

“The only disappointment is that I think it’s a team that could have gone on and won the Premier League in a year or two, and I just wish I had been able to see that through and be a part of that,” he said.

“What’s happened is that I’ve met with my chairman and the club has decided that it wants to go in a different direction with the manager.

That’s their decision.”

Guardian Service