LONDON // Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed the appointment of Harry Redknapp as their new manager today after the Premier League club sacked Juande Ramos late on Saturday night. The 61-year-old Redknapp leaves Portsmouth after a successful spell at the south-coast club that included steering the club to their first FA Cup triumph since 1939. In a more than 2000-word open letter to fans on Tottenham's website (www.tottenhamhotspur.com), the chairman Daniel Levy said he had been left with no choice but to remove Ramos, and his assistants Guy Poyet and Marcos Alvarez and director of football Damien Comolli, after the club's worst ever start to a season.
Going into today's home match against Bolton Wanderers they are bottom of the league with just two points from eight matches. "Unfortunately, our record of just three league wins since our memorable League Cup victory against Chelsea last February, combined with our extremely poor start to the season, led the board and I to determine that significant change was necessary as a matter of urgency," Levy said.
"We are grateful to Juande, Gus and Marcos for all their hard work they are incredibly professional, committed individuals and I regret that their time in the Premier League has not gone as well as we had all hoped." Ramos won the League Cup for Tottenham after replacing Martin Jol a year ago but after the departure of several senior first team players, including strikers Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane, in the summer, they have endured an abysmal start.
Defeats against the likes of promoted Hull City and Stoke City have seen many tip Spurs for relegation for the first time since 1978. "The English Premier League is an unforgiving competition and time was no longer on our side and was a luxury we simply could not afford," Levy added. "In appointing Harry Redknapp as our new manager, we are delighted to have secured the services of someone we have long since admired and whose track record and knowledge of all levels of football, including importantly the Premier League, is outstanding.
"With his great knowledge of the game and his excellent motivational skills, Harry has inspired his teams to consistently over-perform, whilst his preferred attacking style of playing the game sits comfortably with our club's history, heritage and the type of entertaining football our fans want and expect to see." Levy said Comolli would not be replaced, signalling the end of Tottenham's continental-type structure where a director of football is responsible for transfer dealings.
"In Harry, we are also accepting with his appointment that now is the right time for us to move back to a more traditional style of football management at our club," said Levy. Portsmouth said they were sorry Redknapp was leaving and had tried to do everything to keep him at the club where chief executive Peter Storrie said he had "performed a near miracle" in keeping Pompey in the top flight when he first arrived.
"He made it clear that although he has achieved great success here at Fratton Park, apparently Spurs is one of the only clubs he would consider leaving for," Storrie told the club's website (www.portsmouthfc.co.uk). "We have subsequently agreed a substantial compensation package with Spurs, although our overwhelming desire would have been to retain the manager." The compensation, according to Redknapp, is in the region of £5 million (Dh29.2m).