In an extraordinary turn of events, Harry Redknapp has been sacked as manager of Tottenham. There had been recent speculation regarding his future as the club had not offered him an extension to the one year remaining on his contract. It is a surprising end to a season that promised so much, both for Tottenham and for Redknapp. At one stage, Spurs were on the heels of the two Manchester clubs in the race for the Premiership title but a poor run of form saw them fall back into fourth place. That looked to have been enough to secure Champions League football for the North London club until Chelsea won the European title to take the last available place.
Redknapp himself had long been linked with the England job in the wake of Fabio Capello’s resignation. He seemed to be the overwhelming public and professional choice to take over in time for the European Championship this summer but was passed over in favour of Roy Hodgson. He masked any disappointment in recent interviews and said that he was happy in his role at Spurs and would have had mixed feelings about leaving the club, even for the England job. Negotiations with Daniel Levy were delayed by a family bereavement for the club chairman but most expected agreement to be reached fairly swiftly. The news of Redknapp’s departure has come as a shock to most Tottenham fans.
Redknapp took charge in October 2008 when Spurs were languishing towards the bottom of the Premier League but he soon turned things around and took them to two fourth place finishes including their first adventure in the Champions League. At 65, Redknapp’s opportunities in the Premiership may be limited but he has no intentions of retiring. It is understood that there is an opportunity of a coaching role in Dubai, which may be an appropriate end to his long career in management. He has revealed that there were certain “people at the top” who did not like him but refuses to acknowledge any bitterness over his departure. It brings an end to a quite remarkable season for Redknapp, both in football and in his private life. He underwent a heart procedure in November and was cleared of tax evasion in February, the latter seemingly removing the last obstacle to his taking the England job. Nobody would have forecast at that time that he would be overlooked by England and dismissed by Tottenham.
In a summer of managerial musical chairs in the Premier League, the rumour mill has already gone into overdrive to find Redknapp’s successor with Everton’s David Moyes and Wigan boss Roberto Martinez thought to be the leading candidates. Also in contention are former Chelsea head coach Andre Villas-Boas and ex-Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez. Ladbrokes make Andre Villas-Boas the hot favourite to succeed Redknapp at 11-8 with David Moyes 7-2 and Roberto Martinez at 4-1. Former England boss Fabio Capello is 7-1, with Rafa Benitez 10-1 along with Jurgen Klinsmann.
Author Profile: Harvey Mayson+