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Harry Playing A Dangerous Game & Should Show Some Class

In what could’ve been a passing comment from Harry Redknapp regarding the strange twist of fate that see’s Manchester City and Stoke City face each other in the league and FA Cup Final within days, now has people questioning Stoke’s morals and even asking why Spurs are questioning this fixture.

The original league fixture was meant to take place on the day of the cup final. This has now been moved to after the cup final. There seemed to be no problem with that until Redknapp, on behalf of the club I should add, questioned if that fixture should take place before the Cup Final.

The reason for this concern by the club is the possibility of Stoke knowing that they would be better off losing to City in the league game if they lose the FA Cup so they have a better chance of playing European football next season. Confused? Ok, here are the possibilities:

Stoke in Europe

  • Stoke win the FA Cup or
  • City win the FA Cup and finish in the top 4

Stoke not in Europe

  • City win the FA Cup and finish outside the top 4

So the thinking behind the comments are if Stoke lose in the FA Cup they’ll want City to finish in the top 4. If the top 4 race is still on when they meet in mid May it’ll be beneficial for Stoke to let City win their league game because if City win the FA Cup but finish in 5th place the Europa League spot Stoke want will then go to the 6th place finisher in the league (currently Liverpool) and Stoke will miss out on a European adventure and more importantly another revenue income.

The problem with this is it just doesn’t make sense. For starters if we’re now to believe a club will “throw” a match what’s the point in watching football? By suggesting such a thing isn’t Harry Redknapp and the club as a whole breaching some sort of FA rule and bringing the game into disrepute? If not, they should be. I’d hate to think another club would suggest such a thing of Spurs.

Here’s where it really doesn’t make sense. If Liverpool want to play in Europe next season, and I’m presuming they do, if City were to win the cup they’d want them to finish outside of the top 4 so the Europa League place goes to 6th place. Conveniently we play Liverpool at Anfield the day after the Cup Final so they’ll know if they want us to win or not to help with our chances of finishing in the top 4 and therefore their chances of playing in Europe.

There’s absolutely no difference in either situation and suggesting Stoke or Liverpool would be likely to not give 100% to win a game is detrimental to the entire game as well as the reputation of Tottenham Hotspur. Would Bill Nic and the board at the time suggest such a thing?

Of course there’s the chance this is just a ploy to make sure Stoke prove us wrong and go out and win that game. Very much like Fergie did when he was faced with competition from Kevin Keegan and Newcastle or a Mourinho mind game. My problem with this is that’s the game they play, not us. I despise Fergie’s little tricks that question someone else’s morality in the hope they give that little bit extra. If we’re to get into the top 4 we should be doing it on our own merit, with as much style off the pitch as we hopefully show on it.

There’s a saying I’m sure we were all told at some point or another and it goes like this:

If you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all

I think this is one of those times we should let our football do the talking and stop lining up excuses before they’re even needed.


Submitted by THFC1882



  1. Not a fickle fan

    April 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Yet another negative article attacking their “supposed” own club!!
    Is it just me or could anyone point me to a positive, supportive comment from THFC1882. Always knocking “their” own is not a sign of a genuine fan. More like a fifth columnist.

  2. justme

    April 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    “If you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”

    Err – pot…kettle…black…

    But seriously, are you that naive? Even if its just in the back of the Stoke players’ minds it could be enough…

    What’s more to the point is that I doubt that Stoke will have enough to beat them in either match…they had their momnent in the SF…more’s the pity…

  3. Mes

    April 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Cut & paste of piffle already touted on another site.

    Redknapp isn’t worried about making friends & neither should we be. CL football is worth millions of pounds and shouldn’t potentially be decided in a way already abandoned by FIFA.

    This is a ridiculous piece of bad planning by the EPL & the FA and sets a dangerous precedent in terms of the planning of end of season EPL games. If they were thinking of moving the championship decider to allow Man U to have a grandstand finish for TV you’d be certain that Wenger would have something to say about it.

    Redknapp is right to expect the EPL and the FA to stick to the rules set down by FIFA.

  4. flipper

    April 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    In what way is Harry bringing the game into disrepute? Does that mean pretty much every league in the world is bringing the game into disrepute by synchronising the last game of each season? Does that mean FIFA is bringing the game into disrepute by doing the same with the last group game in the world cup…oh, which funnily enough they decided to do after a very clear and obvious case of result fixing. Of course the game should be rescheduled. It’s the penultimate game and theres every chance it could be the decider for the top 4. If Stoke lose the FA cup and all the have to do to get in europe is lose a game of course they’ll lose it, it’s called reality. And you’re fooling no one mate, this article isn’t about some kind of romantic notion of integrity, it’s just a cheap opportunity to put on your anti-harry cap.

  5. Acton_Yid

    April 19, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    What difference does it make when the Man City-Stoke fixture takes place, either before or after the FA Cup final ? Stoke lie in 13th place (38 pts) they won’t achieve Europa League on league position alone. If they want to “roll over” to Man City, they’d do it regardless of the timing…

    • Alboy

      April 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      Mate – sorry, but read the article!

      If Stoke lose the Cup Final, they will only get a UEFA Cup place if City finish in the Top Four; if City finish 5th, Stoke don’t get into Europe…

      So, it will be in their best interests to LOSE against City in the league game: surely, the first time in EPL history when it is MASSIVELY in a Club’s own best interests to LOSE a game…

      It stinks if you ask me…

  6. StevieBlue

    April 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Harry & Class? An oxymoron surely?

  7. David Richards

    April 20, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Its the FA’s fault for moving the FA cup final from its traditional end of season position to a week before the season finishes. This is THEIR show piece event, their raison de etra , and they move it to accomodate some stupid game in what should be called “The Champions, and Not quite champions money grabbing bastards league”. A competition which lost a lot of respect amongst old skool footy fans when it started being not about winning your league, but how many TV viewers you would attract.

    As for Stoke (my team) throwing the game, I think its incredibly disrespectful of floppy chops to suggest his close friend and former player-coach would even contemplate it. Having said that, I was at Burnden Park in 1993 when I along with 3-4,000 other visiting Stoke fans cheered as Bolton scored the 1 and only goal of the game, which as good as gifted Bolton 2nd place and thus denied Port Vale (our local rivals) promotion after we had already won the championship

  8. Mick (Stockport)

    April 20, 2011 at 1:05 am

    What an absolute load of tosh, Rednapp is a disgrace to think that any club would deliberately throw a game. Also as the article says surely the same situation is potential in teh Spurs V Liverpool game.

    I think the real shame in this is that Spurs fans will actually look at this and consider a conspiracy, the league fixture is scheduled at the begining of the season, We both got in the cup (yes I am a city fan) last weekend. Seems like you guys are at best being disrespectful to Stoke who will consider that they have a chance in the FA Cup, and at worst turning into Gooners who think that the whole world is against them.

    Let the Football do the talking if Spurs win all your remaining fixtures you guarantee fourth, same for us.

    Grow up

  9. lodvic

    April 20, 2011 at 3:17 am

    The point Harry is making is perfectly valid…

    Man City 3 Stoke 1 before the cup final looks fine but the same result after the cup final in the knowledge that Stoke get into europe if Man city finish fourth looks iffy. By no means is Harry stating that stoke would throw the game, just that it would cause people (including Tottenham) to cry cheat.

    It would be best for all partys if who ever finishes 4th can say that they did it themselves not aided by a questionable fixture change.

  10. Paolo

    April 20, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Nice to see a Spurs fan recognising a prime slice of gamesmanship from Harry.

    I wonder if it’s more a reflection of Harry’s own mindset and motivations than it is anyone else’s. And I’m sure his old mate Pulis would be very pleased to have his own morals questioned by Harry. With friends like those…etc…etc.

  11. Zorrin

    April 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Hasn’t Harry noticed that Stoke are currently 13th in the league?

    they need to win matches and get points to get in the europa league, not throw matches.

    and why would Harry suspect secret agreements and dodgy dealing? Oh. right.

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