Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has claimed that Joe Lewis, whose investment company ENIC hold the majority stake in Spurs is only ‘half interested’ in watching matches and is only in it to make money.
The news that the ‘big six’ from the Premier League had signed up for the European Super League along with six other clubs from Europe came as a major shock on Sunday to football fans around the world.
The protests and the backlash caused by the announcement has since seen Spurs as well as the other five Premier League clubs announce their withdrawal from the breakaway competition.
Redknapp, who spent four years managing Tottenham before parting ways with the club in 2012, admitted that he is not surprised that the North Londoners signed up for the tournament.
He 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.”
However, the former Spurs boss also insisted that all clubs look after themselves in the current system and that the other fourteen Premier League clubs would have also jumped at the chance to join the ESL had they been invited to do so.
Redknapp added: “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.”
When asked how the Premier League would be affected if the six clubs were no longer involved, the 74-year-old said: “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.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I beleive that when the dust settles, we will look back on this week as a very good one for football. The way the fans came together to force the clubs to withdraw from the competition sent a clear message to all owners, as well as anyone who is thinking of investing in a football club in the future, that these institutions cannot be run like any other business.
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