OPINION may be divided over whether Harry Redknapp deserved to be cut adrift by Tottenham on Wednesday night, but ultimately his strong-arm bargaining tactics left the club with few options.
When Redknapp went public last week with his frustration at not being given a new contract, arguing that the uncertainty over his future would destabilise the squad and could lead to the departure of star players, he was in effect challenging his paymasters.
Backing anyone into a corner in negotiations can be a dangerous tactic but the Tottenham hierarchy of chairman Daniel Levy and majority shareholder Joe Lewis must be among the last people with whom one would advise adopting such a high-risk approach.
Faced with Redknapp’s suggestion that a failure to extend his deal would render his position almost untenable – in effect a “back me or sack me” ultimatum – they appear to have refused to cave in to that demand and called his bluff.
Redknapp’s stock dropped dramatically after Christmas, as Tottenham’s early-season form plummeted and their hopes of another Champions League campaign were trampled on by first Arsenal and then, cruelly, Chelsea.
Fourth place in the Premier League would once have been considered a hugely successful campaign at White Hart Lane and he may justifiably feel he has become a victim of his own success since taking charge in 2008.
Perhaps he may wonder, however, with the benefit of hindsight, whether he did himself any favours or in fact contributed to his own downfall by indulging in talk of winning the title last term.