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Premier League

Harry Redknapp claims Champions League was not factor in Tottenham sacking


Harry Redknapp feels he would have been sacked even if Tottenham had qualified for the Champions League - but is not ready to retire just yet.

Spurs confirmed the 65-year-old's departure in the early hours of this morning.

Redknapp feels this outcome was inevitable, regardless of what happened on the pitch - with Spurs losing out on Champions League football again despite finishing fourth in the Barclays Premier League, because of Chelsea's Champions League final triumph over Bayern Munich last month.

However, Redknapp maintains the current group - which includes the likes of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, both linked with moves away from White Hart Lane - can go on to bigger and better things.

"We missed out on third place by one point in the end, but that is how it goes," Redknapp told reporters in an interview broadcast on the BBC.

"I think the same outcome would have happened, the chairman would have gone down the same road.

"I had four great years at Spurs. All you can do is leave the club in a better state than you found it and I did that, for sure.

"I abide by their decision and don't hold grudges. That is life, we all move on."

Former West Ham boss Redknapp is adamant Spurs will not be his last job in football and he could now be set for a move overseas, with a long-standing offer of a coaching role in Dubai said to be on the table.

"I don't think I am coming towards the end of my career - Sir Alex Ferguson is in his seventies and he is not coming to the end of his, he is still the best manager in the world," Redknapp said.

"I am still fit as a fiddle. I feel great. I don't feel any different. I love football. That is what keeps me going really.

"I love going into work with the players every day and that is what I will miss. I am not one for sitting at home.

"I would suit any job. It is just what happens in football. Who knows?"

Redknapp added: "It is always disappointing, but that is football.

"I leave behind some fantastic players. The only disappointment I have is that I think it was a team which could have gone on and eventually won the Premier League in the next year or two.

"I just wish I could have been able to see that through and be part of that because they have some fantastic players there."

Everton manager David Moyes was this morning the odds-on favourite to replace Redknapp, who transformed the fortunes of the north London club after taking charge in October 2008 and chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement the decision was one the board had not made lightly.

In the past week Redknapp made it known he would be uncomfortable heading into the new campaign without a longer deal while also defending his relationship with Levy.

It has been claimed, however, that Levy was only willing to offer Redknapp a rolling 12-month contract whereas the former Portsmouth manager is thought to have wanted a longer deal that would have made the London club his last job in management.

Redknapp today insisted that was not the case.

He said: "It was nothing to do with contracts or me asking for anything at all. I had a year left and that was fine.

"It was just a case that the club decided they wanted a change and that is their decision because they own the club."

Redknapp continued: "I met with the chairman and the club have decided to move in a different direction with the manager.

"I have had four fantastic years at Tottenham and have loved every minute of it.

"It could not have gone better for me, with the football we played, finishing fourth was great.

"The fans have just been amazing for me, the support I got during this year when it was difficult for me was special, and I will never forget that."

In his first full season in charge Redknapp guided Spurs to fourth position, taking them into the Champions League for the first time.

Spurs played some exhilarating football on their way to the quarter-finals, before being knocked out by Real Madrid.

This has certainly been a dramatic campaign for Redknapp, who underwent a heart procedure in November, was cleared of tax evasion in February and then missed out on the England job in May.

Redknapp, however, insists speculation over his future and Spurs' subsequent collapse played no part in today's moves.

"I kept my counsel about that [England] all through and that had no effect on anything," he said.

"It was just a decision the chairman and the owner wanted to make, it is their club and they can do what they like."

Tottenham, meanwhile, have yet to confirm whether any of Redknapp's backroom staff will remain at the club.