Ginola: Redknapp paid the price for Champions League failure

The north Londoners finished fourth in the Premier League but they were denied a place in Europe's most prestigious competition by Chelsea's triumph in Munich in May
David Ginola has expressed his "surprise" at Harry Redknapp's dismissal by Tottenham Hotspur, but feels that the 65-year-old paid the price for failing to qualify for the Champions League.

The north London outfit finished fourth in the Premier League, but were denied a place in the competition because sixth-placed Chelsea were subsequently crowned champions of Europe courtesy of a dramatic shoot-out success over Bayern Munich, thus guaranteeing themselves automatic entry into the upcoming edition of the tournament.

Redknapp was sacked soon after, and the Frenchman feels that his departure was a byproduct of the increasingly competitive nature of the Premier League and the fact that there are now six or seven sides who harbour realistic hopes of making the Champions League.

"Redknapp leaving was a surprise, but it's a choice of club," the former Spurs winger told l'After Foot. "But this year they could not make the Champions League because of Chelsea's victory.

"Tottenham has always pursued supremacy in north London, but for the last two-to-three years, there has been a levelling of values. There is no longer a 'Big Four'."

Ginola arrived at Tottenham from Newcastle in 1997 and enjoyed three years at White Hart Lane before moving to Aston Villa.