Tottenham Hotspur said Harry Redknapp will leave the Premier League soccer team, ending his near four-year spell as manager.
“This is not a decision the board and I have taken lightly,” Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement on the club’s website. “Harry arrived at the club at a time when his experience and approach was exactly what was needed.”
Redknapp, who was appointed in October 2008 and had a year remaining on his contract, leaves after Spurs finished fourth in the Premier League, though missed out on a Champions League berth when Chelsea won Europe’s elite club competition. Levy and Redknapp met yesterday to negotiate the manager’s departure after talks over a new agreement broke down, the Daily Telegraph reported, without saying where it got the information.
“I have had a fantastic four years with the club, at times the football has been breathtaking,” Redknapp said in the statement, which was posted on Tottenham’s website at 3:37 a.m. local time. “I am sad to be leaving but wish to thank the players, staff and fans for their terrific support during my time there.”
Everton manager David Moyes is the bookmakers’ favorite to be Tottenham’s next permanent manager ahead of Wigan’s Roberto Martinez, according to the Oddschecker website.
“Moyes was backed heavily earlier this year when Redknapp was expected to take the England job, so it’s no surprise that he is the name on everyone’s lips this time,” Coral bookmakers’ spokesman Gary Burton said in a release.
Redknapp, 65, was favored to replace Fabio Capello as manager of the England national team when the Italian resigned in February. When Capello left his post Feb. 8, Spurs were 10 points ahead of Arsenal in third place. They finished the season one point behind their north London rival and the England job went to Roy Hodgson.
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. last week, Redknapp said he would have taken national coach’s role had it been offered to him.
Redknapp took over from the fired Juande Ramos after Spurs lost six of its opening eight games of the 2008-09 season, the club’s worst start to a Premier League campaign, and led a recovery from last place to eighth.
Spurs ended the following season in fourth place to qualify for the Champions League and reached the quarterfinals on their tournament debut during the 2010-11 campaign, when they finished fifth in the Premier League.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Spurs and am proud of my achievements,” Redknapp added.
Former Tottenham defender John Scales said he was “bewildered” by the club’s decision to change managers.
“I am staggered that a manager who took the club to fourth, fifth and fourth again has gone,” Scales was cited as saying by the Sun newspaper. “Even though we lost out to Chelsea at the end, it has been another fantastic season.”