The former Tottenham manager is surprised to see the north London giants threatening to breakaway, but admits money talks to those in charge
Harry Redknapp claims Tottenham owner Joe Lewis is looking to use involvement in a breakway Super League as a money-making scheme, with the club’s majority shareholder “only half-interested in watching games”.
Spurs are one of six Premier League sides, and 12 across Europe, to have backed the introduction of a new midweek tournament that will allow the continental elite to face one another in an invitation-only arena.
Criticism has rained down on those at the centre of said plans, with supporters and governing bodies among those to fire in potshots, and Redknapp has added his voice to those accusing heavyweight outfits of looking to line already well-padded pockets.
What has been said?
Former Spurs boss Redknapp, who oversaw the club’s first foray into the Champions League back in 2010-11, has told talkSPORT: “The club belongs to Joe Lewis, he’s the main shareholder. Joe doesn’t go to watch Tottenham play and not to appear disrespectful, he’s probably only half-interested in watching games.
“It was an investment. When he bought Tottenham, he owned about three or four other clubs. He had Glasgow Rangers at one time, he had a team in Czechoslovakia and a team in Italy. It was an investment.
“He’s sitting on a massive investment anyway and it’s a chance to make more money for his investment and that’s what he’ll do. It’s sad, but that’s how they see it. They’re not out to help anybody else, but themselves and their club. Their only interest is the club they own.”
Why are Tottenham involved?
Spurs – who have placed Ryan Mason in temporary charge following the sacking of Jose Mourinho – have joined domestic rivals Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City in signing up for the Super League scheme.
Quizzed on why the north London giants have got involved, Redknapp added: “It was a complete shock. It’s all about money and the teams who are looking to go in it, these six teams, only take care of themselves and that’s how football is unfortunately.
“They are certainly not in it to help anyone else. They’ve got no real understanding of the history of the clubs. They come in and it’s an investment, the buy the club and it’s not a club who they grew up following or supporting.
“It’s all about making money and they see this as a massive chance to make mega money for their football club and they don’t care too much about anybody else or what damage it does to anybody else.
“If you probably asked the other 14 clubs who are in the Premier League, if one dropped out and they said ‘do you want to come in?’ And they’d jump at the chance. That’s how the game is. We are kidding ourselves otherwise.”
The bigger picture
Sanctions on those involved in Super League discussions have been threatened, with UEFA and FIFA getting involved from the very top of the game.
It has been suggested that the 12 clubs concerned could be kicked out of domestic and continental events, such as the Premier League and Champions League, with some big decisions about to be made by those inside and out of a controversial bubble.
Redknapp added on the possibility of Spurs and Co being removed from the English top-flight: “It would probably be like taking Celtic and Rangers out of Scotland. You’d still have a league, it would be a closer run league but it wouldn’t be the same.
“It’s unthinkable to have a league without the Liverpools and Man Uniteds. It would be a sad day if it happened.
“The fans hold the key and if they say ‘no, we don’t want that and aren’t coming’ then I think that’s the only way. The fans need to vote with their feet and don’t support this new league.”