Harry Redknapp's successful and eventful
spell as Tottenham Hotspur manager ended on Thursday, the club
dismissing the 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."
SAD TO GO
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
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.
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
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
An unlikely run in Europe's top competition saw Spurs
eventually knocked out in the quarter-finals by nine-times
champions Real Madrid but only after they had turned heads by
beating multiple winners AC and Inter Milan.
Redknapp was hugely popular with Spurs fans and tested their
allegiance by signing Emmanuel Adebayor and William Gallas, who
both played for arch-rivals Arsenal, but the manager was proved
right as the supporters were won over by their strong displays.
His admission during his tax evasion case in January and
February that he was "the most disorganised person in the world"
and that he writes "like a two-year-old and can't spell" was
hardly the confession an owner of a high-flying, big-spending
club wanted to hear from their manager.
During the trial Tottenham's good form continued but once
Redknapp was cleared, and Fabio Capello stepped down as England
manager and a massive media-led campaign was launched for the
Spurs man to replace the Italian, problems started.
A 5-2 humbling at Arsenal in February was the start of three
consecutive league defeats and although Spurs rallied to finish
in the fourth and last qualifying slot, they were denied a
Champions League position because sixth-placed Chelsea beat
Bayern Munich in the final to win the trophy.
With no Champions League football next season and
acknowledging last week that he would have taken the England job
if it had been offered to him, media speculation grew that
Redknapp was set to depart, making Thursday's split less
The 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.
However, 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.
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