Tuesday may go down as a memorable day for Tottenham Hotspur and the club's die hard supporters. It's also possible, however, that we'll all be having a laugh regarding this rumor come mid-August.
The Twitter world has been the cause of much conversation among Spurs supporters thanks to a rumor that claims that Harry Redknapp has quit as Tottenham manager. A piece posted on the Sports Mole website on Tuesday afternoon ET made it clear that such reports are, as of the typing of this sentence, unconfirmed. The story does claim, however, that former Arsenal striker Ian Wright told Absolute Radio that Redknapp and Spurs had parted ways.
Here is what we know for sure as of 3:00 pm ET on June 12: It was reported last week that Redknapp and chairman Daniel Levy, who have always enjoyed somewhat of an "Odd Couple" relationship, were failing to come to terms on a deal that would keep Redknapp at Spurs any longer than past May 2013. The stories claimed that Levy was willing to offer Redknapp a one-year rolling extension, while the manager was searching for an additional three to four years to be added onto his current deal.
The Daily Mail then reported over this past weekend that Redknapp could leave Tottenham "by the end of this month." That story reiterated previous claims that Redknapp and Levy just could not agree on a new contract for the current Tottenham manager. Redknapp has thus far been linked with Chelsea, West Ham and also clubs found in the Middle East.
Thus far, rumors of Redknapp quitting Spurs are merely unconfirmed reports and nothing more. Ian Abrahams of Talk Sport Tweeted the following regarding the matter: "Hearing from 2 sources UNCONFIRMED Harry Redknapp has left Spurs - I am trying to get official conformation." BBC's Dan Walker posted the following on Twitter at about 2:30 pm ET on Tuesday: "Rumours that Harry Redknapp has left Spurs. He was having talks with Levy yesterday and has been making those 'noises' recently." Jonathan Liew of The Telegraph mentioned the rumor in his live commentary of the Poland vs. Russia Euro 2012 match, but the website does not have a story regarding Redknapp's reported departure from Spurs as of 3:00 pm ET.
Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror dismissed reports that Redknapp has left Spurs, but Lipton also stated that such an exit is still very possible. He posted the following on his Twitter page: "Twitter and other social media full of rumours of Harry Redknapp's departure from Tottenham. My understanding is that it is not the case. But clear there are issues between Redknapp and chairman Daniel Levy, who blames the manager for club not finishing third in PL last season and is in no mood to offer a new contract even though only 12 months to run on current deal. Uneasy truce at the moment but clear that this is on a knife-edge at the moment. Levy not a man to budge, as a rule."
ESPN has also posted a report that contains quotes from Redknapp. According to the story, Redknapp told ESPN the following: "No, I haven't resigned, and I have no idea why it is being suggested that I have resigned. This is an outrage; an absolute liberty for people to be putting around this kind of rumour on the internet. It is not true, there is not a chance I will resign."
Under Redknapp, Spurs have finished fourth, fifth and fourth in the Premier League table in the past three seasons. Tottenham were a bit unlucky to miss out on Champions League football next season due to Chelsea defeating Bayern Munich on May 19, but Spurs also have themselves to blame for once again being relegated to Europa League. They held a double-digit lead in the table over rivals Arsenal back in February, but eventually squandered that advantage. The Gunners finished third in the league, one point ahead of Tottenham.
It's silly to speculate at this time which current Tottenham players will stay or leave depending on Redknapp's status with the club. However, it seems obvious to me that such talk regarding Redknapp's contract cannot be good for the acquisition of talent this summer, players that are required if Spurs are again going to earn Champions League football next season. Levy and Redknapp need to get things sorted out and soon.
Euro 2012 will only be a distraction for so long, after all.
- Sports & Recreation
- Harry Redknapp
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Daniel Levy