• Premier League

Levy defends Sherwood sacking

ESPN staff
May 13, 2014
Tottenham appointed Tim Sherwood on an 18-month contract but triggered a break clause in his contract after only five months © PA Photos

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has defended the way his club have treated Tim Sherwood after exercising a break clause in his contract as head coach.

The club confirmed on Tuesday lunchtime that their former player and head of football development, who succeeded Andre Villas-Boas as Spurs boss last December, was leaving just five months into an 18-month-deal.

Following his hour-long meeting with Levy, Sherwood told Sky Sports: "It is obviously a massive wrench to leave a club of the stature of Tottenham Hotspur, a club very close to my heart."

Sherwood has become the eighth full-time manager to have left Spurs during Levy's 13 years in charge. The head coach has had to endure speculation about his future for much of his time in charge of the team.

A series of potential replacements have claimed to have been approached by Tottenham about a potential managerial vacancy. Sherwood claimed recently that someone had to be "telling porkies" about his prospects as the club were forced to deny showing an interest in Ajax's Frank de Boer.

Football's most turbulent season

Tim Sherwood was sacked by Tottenham on Tuesday © Getty Images
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But Levy, who Sherwood's friend and former team-mate Jamie Redknapp claimed "enjoys sacking managers", said: "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.

"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.

"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."

Sherwood made it clear early on in his reign that he would not be prepared to work as an assistant manager after holding the top job.

He wanted to stay and manage the club but had also grown tired of the invidious position he frequently found himself in.

Before Tottenham's victory against Aston Villa on Sunday, Sherwood claimed even some of his own players had told him he would be sacked after the end of the season.

However, despite achieving a win rate of 59% during his time in charge and securing Europa League football for next season, he has been discarded.

Roberto Martinez and Mauricio Pochettino are among the candidates said to be in the running to replace Sherwood, and Spurs fans are likely to be split over whether his departure is a wise move.

However, midfielder Sandro has made it clear that he will shed no tears for his old boss. The pair had a public falling out earlier this season and the Brazilian told ESPN that he was looking forward to working under a new manager.

Sandro also suggested that, despite a sixth-place finish, the club had underachieved this season and that the dressing room had been downbeat under Sherwood.

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