Harry is happy at Spurs, insists chairman Levy
Wednesday 15 December 2010
Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy accepted yesterday that any English manager would find it hard to turn down the national job, but put off to the realm of "if and when" how he would deal with any Football Association approach for Harry Redknapp.
The FA has already confirmed that Redknapp, who has guided Spurs into the knockout stages of the Champions League, is one of the contenders to take over from Fabio Capello when the Italian steps down after the European Championship campaign.
Levy, speaking at the club's annual general meeting yesterday, said: "Harry's on a long-term contract. If and when the FA were to contact us we would have to deal with it accordingly."
Redknapp has a contract at White Hart Lane until 2013 but has previously stated that the national job is an opportunity English managers cannot pass up.
"I understand that sentiment," Levy said. "But the reality is that it is probably two years away before there will actually be a change. It's not going to happen between now and then.
"I'm sure Harry wants to continue managing Tottenham and we are delighted to have him. As far as I'm concerned we are not even thinking about Harry or our top players leaving. It's not something we are even discussing."
Levy assured shareholders that Gareth Bale would not be sold following his performances in the Champions League in the past few months.
"I've never deemed us to be a selling club," he said. "If you look at the two big transfers which have taken place since I've been chairman, they were actually for contractual reasons.
"Both Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick had two years left on their contracts. Both players wanted to go and that was the reason they were sold. In the case of Gareth, he's got a long-term contract, and I can assure you that he will not be sold."
The Spurs chairman was praised for his part in guiding the club to Europe's top club competition but he also heard strong opposition expressed to the possibility of a move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. One speaker described any such move as "ripping the guts out of the club".
Levy said: "The position on the stadium is very clear. Emotionally we all want to remain in Tottenham. In the end if we are faced with the choice everyone will be rational about it."
Tottenham's original plan was to build on a site adjacent to their current ground, with Levy revealing there are still problems acquiring land. "We are engaged with the owners of properties we still require to complete the site assembly – owners who are requesting, in some cases, up to five times the market value of their sites," he said.
The mayor of London, English Heritage and the Secretary of State have given their approval for the project but Spurs need to complete what is termed an "S106" agreement with Haringey borough council on legacy pledges. "We have to look to do what is deliverable – and that will not just involve finances but a wide range of factors," Levy added.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
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