London – Harry Redknapp was sacked as manager of Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday after nearly four years in charge of the Premier League club.
“This is not a decision the board and I have taken lightly,” said Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in a statement. “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.”
Spurs were bottom of the Premier League table when Redknapp arrived at White Hart Lane from Portsmouth in 2008 and Levy added:
“Harry will always be welcome at the Lane.”
Redknapp, in a brief statement issued by Tottenham, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Spurs and am proud of my achievements. I have had a fantastic four years with the club, at times the football has been breathtaking.
“I am sad to be leaving but wish to thank the players, staff and fans for their terrific support during my time there.”
The 65-year-old Englishman was known to be pushing Levy for an extension to his contract, which was due to expire at the end of next season, saying the uncertainty surrounding his position was destabilising the squad.
It has been claimed that Levy was only willing to offer Redknapp a rolling 12-month contract whereas Redknapp favoured a longer deal.
Redknapp, whose status as the media and fans' favourite to become the next manager of England was ignored by the Football Association (FA) when they chose Roy Hodgson for the job after the resignation of Fabio Capello, did achieve Levy's goal of a top four Premier League finish last season.
But while that would normally have been good enough for Champions League football next season it wasn't this time because London rivals Chelsea won this term's edition and thereby qualified as European champions. – Sapa-AFP