Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

FA's Softly, Softly Approach Leaves Spurs Facing a Harsh Summer

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

FA's Softly, Softly Approach Leaves Spurs Facing a Harsh Summer

Article excerpt

Byline: JamesOlley Chief Football Correspondent

[bar] HE EXTENT of any damage done to Tottenham's season by speculation over Harry Redknapp's suitability for England is debateable but undisputedly both manager and club are in an awful mess now the tornado has subsided.

There will no doubt be a sense of sweet release that accompanies the disappointment in being overlooked by the Football Association for at least now the rumours have ceased.

But while the FA were right to take stock before making their move, their measured approach soon became simply comatose and those Premier League clubs they sought to avoid disrupting were left suspended in uncertainty.

In truth, such was the overwhelming weight of public and media opinion behind Redknapp's candidacy, Spurs were the only club likely to be affected by the delay in naming Fabio Capello's successor.

The consequence of effecting paralysis on a club is compounded when it ends with nothing having changed. Tottenham have effectively had to put their plans on an enforced three-month hiatus ahead of a summer that The is will again be pivotal in the direction of the club.

Redknapp's contract negotiations and the future of Spurs' top players hinge on Champions League qualification.

Gareth Bale and Luka Modric are likely to agitate for moves should they finish outside the top four. tense disastrous run explained the FA's advert While Redknapp's departure to England would have provided a perfect excuse to jump ship should they wish, equally the 65-year-old's own position has been weakened by the removal of such a powerful bargaining tool in discussing his own future.

Communication lines remain open between chairman Daniel Levy and Redknapp's camp but little is being said at present. It remains possible that Champions League football could be the difference between Redknapp signing a lucrative new contract and entering the final year of his deal playing brinkmanship with his job at White Hart Lane.

Choosing such a path against such a tough negotiator as Levy is risky. His camp must find another alternative to leverage their position. Levy, too, has his own problems to contend, not least that he had quietly been expected to secure as much as [pounds sterling]10million in compensation from the FA had they taken Redknapp. …

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