Spurs agony after Chelsea ecstasy
Chelsea’s Champions League victory over Bayern Munich completed a miserable month for Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, whose team will now be relegated to the Europa League next season.
Tottenham managed to secure a top four finish in the Premier League to gain access to world football’s most prestigious club competition.
However Chelsea’s win in Munich bumped Spurs out of the reckoning under UEFA rules which guarantee qualification for the defending champions.
Chelsea, who could only finish sixth in the Premier League after a disappointing domestic campaign, now take Tottenham’s place in the competition.
UEFA changed its rules after a controversy in 2005, when Liverpool won the title in Istanbul despite not qualifying for the following year’s competition after Everton finished ahead of them in the league.
UEFA eventually granted Liverpool a place in the qualifying rounds, which allowed five English teams into the tournament.
Since then however UEFA has ruled that if a side winning the Champions League has not already qualified for the following season’s competition, the club in question takes one of berths allocated to its national association.
Chelsea’s qualification at the expense of Spurs has potentially wide-ranging ramifications for the club, with Tottenham likely to lose millions in revenue while facing a bigger challenge to retain and attract top talent.
Redknapp’s disappointment came just weeks after he was overlooked by the Football Association for the England manager’s job, with Roy Hodgson the surprise choice for the position.