Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

by Darren Walsh

So then, Harry’s Game has come to an end.  After an eventful four years, Daniel Levy has seen enough and told him to sling his hook, with the disagreements over a new contract being seemingly the last straw.

First things first, if Spurs had finished third, or if Mario Gomez hadn’t had his boots on the wrong feet a few weeks ago, it is very unlikely that it would have come to this. Even with differences between the two men, they would have made an uneasy truce.  However, with this failure?  It was only a matter of time.

While the media will have a field day in attacking Levy and Spurs, the unbiased people can see that Redknapp brought it all on himself.  He was offered a new contract in February when talk of the England job first began, and he didn’t sign it.  It was a huge gamble by him, depending on getting the nod from the FA, and it has backfired spectacularly on him.  Did he really think that Levy would overlook being the second choice and welcome him back into the fold with open arms?

That could only have been possible if Redknapp had delivered a Champion’s League place, and once that evaporated his leverage had disappeared.  Relations have only gotten worse since the end of the season, as Levy had revised his offer and was only prepared to offer a one year contract, while Redknapp wanted three.  For a man who’s 65 years old and has recently had a heart operation, a three year commitment is a pretty large gamble to make for a chairman.

Maybe things could have been worked out, but Redknapp blew it last week.  He made the ridiculous statement that he couldn’t go into the new season without a long term contract because it would unsettle the players.  This was in direct contrast to last March when he stated that the England speculation wouldn’t bother the teams because they don’t care who their manager is.  The fact that he was publically talking about all of this while Levy was out of the country and suffering a family bereavement would also have not helped his cause.

It is obvious that Levy has learned his lessons from previous situations.  He had lost confidence in Martin Jol during the summer of 2007 but left him in charge to start the new season.  With the players well aware of the trouble, they slumped and Jol was sacked just a few weeks after.  This time he has been decisive and has given the prospective new man the time to plan for the season properly.

Of course it should not be forgotten how well a job Redknapp has done at Spurs.  While the team were not quite the relegation certainties that Redknapp likes to imagine, he took a team that had been on the edges of the top four and broke through that ceiling, giving some memorable European nights at White Hart Lane.  There could have been a lot more to come, but he failed to keep his mind on the job and instead of managing a contending team or his country, he has ended up with nothing.  He has no one to blame but himself.