Belfast Telegraph

Spurs are running out of excuses for firing managers

By Sam Wallace

Tim Sherwood has been told that his public criticism of the Tottenham Hotspur hierarchy was why chairman Daniel Levy was sacking him as Spurs manager, just six months after he gave him an 18-month contract as Andre Villas-Boas' successor.

It came as no surprise to Sherwood, who was told on April 7, before the club's Premier League fixture with Sunderland, that he was to leave at the end of this season – although on that occasion he was told it was his lack of experience that counted against him.

The club announced that a break clause in his contract had been activated, but Sherwood is nonetheless due the value of the remainder of his deal.

The meeting between the two men took place yesterday morning without Franco Baldini, the technical director, who for now is safe as he goes about the job of appointing Sherwood's successor – Levy's ninth manager, excluding caretakers, since he took over the chairmanship.

Sherwood has been critical of Spurs – and by implication Levy and Joe Lewis, the billionaire owner of Enic, the club's majority shareholder – but only as it became clear that they were not interested in pursuing any kind of long-term plan with him.

He said that the "silence is deafening" from the boardroom after defeat to Chelsea.

When Spurs denied Frank De Boer's claims that the club had approached Ajax over his availability, Sherwood said that "someone was telling porkies."

The expectation is that Sherwood will now settle with the club through the League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan before issuing any statement on his dismissal.

There are no firm plans yet as to who his successor will be, although Mauricio Pochettino, now represented by Gareth Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett, will be a contender. Levy is thought to be going cold on de Boer after his willingness to divulge Spurs' interest in him.

The club have a summer of difficult decisions approaching following the poor returns on their £109m investment in seven players last summer after the sale of Bale to Real Madrid.

There is little doubt that Levy and Baldini will be in control of signings with no rush to appoint a new manager.

Sherwood was given the option to return to his role as technical coordinator when he was first told of the club's intention to sack him in April.

He declined that offer and the club will now make decisions on his assistants Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey, who was promoted from the academy to work with the first team.

Levy said in a statement: "We appointed Tim mid-season as someone who knew both the players and the club.

"We agreed an 18-month contract with a break clause at the end of the season and we have now exercised that option.

"Since appointing Tim as assistant first team coach in 2008 and then as technical co-ordinator in 2010 and head of football development in 2012, we have been supportive of him during football management changes throughout that period.

"On behalf of the club, I should like to state our thanks for all his efforts during his years with us. We wish him great success in his managerial career.

"Moving forward, now the season is over, we shall embark on the process of finding a new Head coach.

"We have a talented squad and exciting young players coming through. We need to build on this season, develop our potential and inspire the kind of performances that we associate with our great club."

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