It has been a month now since Fabio Capello resigned as England manager, on the same day that Harry Redknapp was found innocent of charges against him in Southwark Court. Ever since, Redknapp has been the hot favourite for the job everywhere except at Tottenham Hotspur, who understandably would be reluctant to let him leave.
Several things perplex about the Football Association’s hesitation. The FA has stated that there is no rush to find the right candidate and as such they are compiling a short list, which to date has taken a month. Arguably this should have been drawn up before Capello’s resignation. The FA is a worldwide name, or brand if you will, to be so complacent in planning maybe akin to Microsoft wondering what to do if Bill Gates stepped down. Any organisation worth its salt has a contingency plan in case of unexpected events (for example the resignation of a key person)– part of the responsibility of the board to undertake due diligence. The FA knew Capello was leaving after Euro 2012 and plans for a replacement should have been discussed and identified long in advance. This would also have made the FA look less indecisive and any disagreements over the replacement [as there appears to be], resolved behind closed doors so a united and consistent front could have been put forward.
The Football Association has also indicated that to approach any manager prior to the end of the season would be unfair on the club in question, an unwelcome distraction coming to the business end of the season. This has been echoed by Harry Redknapp saying: “Whoever they go for, the chances are they’re going to be in a job, it’s certainly difficult for people to suddenly walk out of their clubs at this stage of the year, so it probably would make it easier for everyone [if the FA waited].” Perhaps Redknapp is being diplomatic in restating the FA’s position; however the logic put forward by the FA could be said to have little basis, especially in respect to Spurs. There can be very few people in or out of football that are not aware Redknapp is the favourite for the role. Unsurprisingly, there has been daily speculation about whether he will be offered the role, potential replacements and the impact on players. There have also been suggestions that recent performances have been affected by the speculation. This is perhaps crucial; there would be more stability for Spurs in knowing the FA’s and by consequence Harry’s intentions now.
Unlike the FA, fans may suspect Daniel Levy has a short list for Spurs drawn up, but any plan cannot be instigated until the England role is determined. Luka Modric in particular has said he will review his future once Harry’s future is resolved. Similar thoughts may be with others. If a replacement for Redknapp has to be found then a club will have to approached, negotiations entered into and if successful signed. Then discussions with current players and transfer policy with the new manager before targets can be looked at. Why should this all be done in the summer? This would surely put Spurs at a major disadvantage to other clubs. Perhaps not the fairness the FA imagined?
Accordingly Spurs fans should perhaps welcome Daniel Levy’s decisive action. As reported in the London Evening Standard, Redknapp has been offered an improved four year contract and a transfer war chest. Levy may at least be showing Redknapp that he is a wanted man in North London and with Spurs a team seemingly going places under the guidance of Redknapp, Levy would perhaps wish to tie his manager down to continue the progression. As much as Redknapp may desire the England job, with the FA continuing to remain silent, Levy’s offer could be very tempting. At the very least the offer may force the FA’s hand. Either way the offer may result in a quicker resolution of the situation and allow Spurs to make plans with some certainty.
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