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Ex-England candidate Redknapp fired by Tottenham
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By BARBARA SURK
LONDON (AP) A few months ago, Harry Redknapp beat tax evasion charges and was a leading candidate to coach England with Tottenham playing arguably the most stylish football in the country. Now he is unemployed.
That reversal of fortunes was confirmed when Spurs fired the 65-year-old Englishman on Thursday, ending his reign at White Hart Lane after nearly four seasons in charge and with a year left on his contract.
Redknapp looks to have paid the price for Tottenham's failure to qualify for the lucrative Champions League, a collapse in form ensuring the team won only three of its last 13 Premier League matches.
He had been keen to extend his contract but the club told Redknapp that it wanted to go in a different direction.
"I have had a fantastic four years with the club, at times the football has been breathtaking," Redknapp said on Tottenham's website. "I am sad to be leaving."
After agreeing on a compensation package with Tottenham, Redknapp told the BBC: "I don't think I'm at the end of my career. (Manchester United manager) Alex Ferguson is in his 70s and still the best manager in the world."
Everton manager David Moyes is the bookmakers' heavy favorite to replace Redknapp after having spent 10 years in charge of the Merseyside club.
Redknapp, a former West Ham player, took charge at Spurs in October 2008 when they were bottom of the Premier League. They secured a top-four finish the following season and reached the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.
But Tottenham's failure to rejoin Europe's elite appears to have ultimately cost Redknapp his job, despite another fourth-place finish for a club that hasn't won the English league title since 1961.
"This is not a decision the board and I have taken lightly," chairman Daniel Levy said. "Harry arrived at the club at a time when his experience and approach was exactly what was needed.
"This decision in no way detracts from the excellent work Harry has done during his time with the club, and I should like to thank him for his achievements and contribution. Harry will always be welcome at the Lane."
Redknapp's side had been on course to qualify for the Champions League again, spending much of the season in third place.
But the team's fortunes plummeted late in the season, throwing away a 10-point lead over fourth-place Arsenal at the time when Redknapp was strongly linked with the England coaching job following Fabio Capello's resignation in February.
But after months of unsettling speculation about Redknapp's potential departure, Roy Hodgson was appointed to the England job in early May.
Tottenham missed out on a Champions League berth despite finishing fourth. England's fourth Champions League place instead went to Chelsea, which finished sixth in the Premier League but then won the European Cup to secure an automatic route back into the competition as defending champion.
Redknapp's stock soared in 2008 for the rapid improvement he engineered at Spurs after the brief and troubled reign of predecessor Juande Ramos.
He also became the first English manager in 13 years to win the FA Cup, leading Portsmouth to the 2008 title.
He had a respectable career as a player alongside Bobby Moore at West Ham, before starting in management at Bournemouth in 1983.
In nine years at Bournemouth, Redknapp unlocked the potential of an underachieving side, taking the Cherries to the second tier of English football and famously knocking Manchester United out of the 1984 FA Cup.
A seven-year stint with West Ham followed before spending six years at Portsmouth, interrupted by a short-lived and controversial move to local rival Southampton.
After being dogged by unproven graft allegations in recent years, Redknapp was cleared in February of tax evasion charges after being accused of concealing $295,000 of transfer bonuses in a Monaco bank account.
AP Sports Writer Rob Harris in Krakow, Poland, contributed to this report.
Updated June 14, 2012