|TIME FOR CHANGE? |
|VILLAS-BOAS'S TOTTENHAM RECORD |
|GAMES PLAYED |
A source close to Villas-Boas told Goal that the Portuguese believes he would already have been fired had his contract not included a prohibitive penalty clause.
However, the scale of the payoff, which commits Tottenham to ensuring that Villas-Boas earns an annual salary of at least 3 million euros until the summer of 2014, will have reduced by the end of the season. With that in mind, Spurs' hierarchy is already considering potential replacements for the former Porto boss.
Levy's advisers have floated the strategy of replacing a coach who led the club to its highest Premier League points total in his first season in charge with Glenn Hoddle, who was dismissed as Tottenham boss a decade ago and has been out of top-level coaching since 2006.
Club sources say, though, that the chairman's preference is for Villas-Boas to stand down, thus avoiding the cost of compensation.
The long-standing discord between Villas-Boas and Levy was exacerbated by disagreement over the reinvestment of Gareth Bale's record 100 million euro transfer fee. Some of the club's seven summer signings were acquired against the coach's advice, and the squad has been left imbalanced by the failure to follow it.
Integrating new players into the team has proved problematic, culminating in a 6-0 defeat at Manchester City in November. Two away victories and a draw with Manchester United since then have moved Tottenham to within three points of a Champions League qualifying place but without resolving the tension between board and boss.
A lack of support over Emmanuel Adebayor's behavior within the dressing room — the underperforming striker has clashed with Villas-Boas on more than one occasion — and a refusal to help implement some of the Portuguese's preparation methods have angered the 36-year-old.
It is also thought that Levy would have been happy for Villas-Boas take up a lucrative offer to coach Paris Saint-Germain last summer, with Tottenham entitled to 14.3 million euros as compensation from the French champions.