Harry Redknapp said yesterday he would fight the Football Association all the way if they charge him today over his outspoken criticism of referee Mark Clattenburg, and promised to boycott all post-match television interviews in response.
The Tottenham manager showed no signs of relenting in the escalating row that followed Luis Nani's controversial goal against Spurs on Saturday – even with the possibility of an FA charge hanging over him. The governing body will decide today after reviewing footage of Redknapp's Saturday press conference whether to charge him with improper conduct over the comment that Clattenburg and his assistants had colluded in making up "a story" over the incident.
Yesterday, Redknapp, whose team face Internazionale in the Champions League tonight, stood by his allegation that Clattenburg and his assistants, Simon Beck and Darren Cann, had made sure they "sung from the same hymn sheet" on an explanation for allowing Nani's goal.
It is those remarks, augmented by yesterday's outspoken press conference, that could land the Spurs manager in difficulty with the FA today. The governing body had previously been minded to ignore Redknapp's comments but, in reiterating his position yesterday, there is the danger that the Tottenham manager might have made things more difficult for himself.
Redknapp said: "If I can't come on TV and answer a question in a truthful manner when I'm asked, then we shouldn't be dragged out to TV two minutes after a game. I'm getting pulled out there by Simon [Felstein] the press officer, I don't want to go on TV, I'd much rather stay in the dressing room and speak to the players. When I'm asked a question I give a truthful answer – he [Clattenburg] made a right mess of it and I stand by that 100 per cent.
"Good luck if they [the FA] want to make an issue of what I said – then I'll make some issues too. Don't expect me to come out on the television after a game ever because I won't do. If you want me to talk rubbish and say it was a good decision then don't bother getting me out after a game."
Later, Redknapp added: "Oh, I would be sick. I wouldn't take [an FA charge] lying down, no chance. I haven't done anything. I didn't go up to the referee, I didn't go and run onto the pitch, I didn't chase him into his room.
"I got put in front of the cameras within five minutes. I gave my honest opinion, that's what I saw. I saw a complete mess-up, where no one knew what had happened. No one still knows really. You see [former referee] Dermot Gallagher on [television], saying it could have been handled better, being kind.
"I never questioned the integrity [of the referees]. What I said is that when they get in their room they make sure that they sing from the same hymn sheet and anyone that thinks that doesn't happen, they shouldn't be in football, or involved in the game. Because I've been in it long enough. They always come up with the same.
"The linesman isn't going to say, 'I told him it was handball and he should have disallowed it.' They'll all come up with the same... there'll be an answer. Even though I know for a fact that Mark Clattenburg in private has said to somebody that he made a mess, really. He should have blown up and given the free-kick. The whole thing was a mess.
"I've got no issues with the FA, but I wouldn't take it lying down. There's no way I'd do any more TV interviews. No chance. Don't bother asking me to speak to TV after a game again. I don't care if it's in the rules. No chance. I don't want to do it. The last thing I want to do is go on TV and talk about the game. I just want to get on the coach and go home. I don't expect a charge, but if they do I'll fight it all the way.
"The FA want it both ways. They want us to talk about the game, but not talk about it. I could just come out and refuse to talk about anything. I was asked my opinion and said what I felt. Who wants to see all that going on? Players all round the referee. No one knew what was going on – Sir Alex Ferguson said to me after the game 'what happened?' That's what he said when we shook hands."Reuse content