Harry Redknapp has claimed a massive buyout clause in his Tottenham Hotspur contract was the only reason he did not get the chance to become England manager.
Redknapp, now in charge at Queens Park Rangers, was the favorite to replace Fabio Capello after the Italian resigned in February last year, but the Football Association (FA) eventually made the surprise decision to hire Roy Hodgson from West Bromwich Albion.
The 66-year-old, who was sacked by Spurs in June last year after failing to agree a new contract, believes the reported ￡5 million (US$7.6 million) buyout clause in his deal with the north London club convinced the FA to look elsewhere.
“I wouldn’t take it [the England job] now, no. Not now, not in the future,” Redknapp told Twentyfour7 Football magazine. “That was my time, really, if I was going to get it. Last year there were a lot of things that went against me surrounding that massive contractual clause. People will always deny that is the reason, the FA couldn’t say that and I won’t say, but it didn’t help me.”
“I had such a badly loaded contract it was crazy, in Tottenham’s favor. That’s what you get for not reading your contract properly,” he said. “It was a massive amount that someone would have had to pay to get me out of it. If they sacked me it wasn’t so massive and that was a bolt out of the blue, a shock, I genuinely never saw it coming.”
Redknapp insists Tottenham’s decision to sack him was made by owner Joe Lewis and not chief executive Daniel Levy, who reportedly had a strained relationship with the then-Spurs boss.
“Was it Levy who cut the cord? It was other people, the owner of the club that decided,” Redknapp added.
Meanwhile, QPR owner Tony Fernandes insists Redknapp will remain at the club, even if his team are relegated this season.
QPR are currently seven points from safety with just seven games left, but Fernandes is delighted with his relationship with Redknapp and has no plans to sack him.
“I want stability more than anything. I wanted it with Neil Warnock and Mark Hughes, so it’s third time lucky with Harry. I think he is the man,” Fernandes told the club’s London Call-In radio show. “We understand each other well and he knows how committed the shareholders are. He has a great coaching staff and philosophy — he’s a fantastic man and I would love to keep him as long as he wants to stay.”