EPL Betting: Troubled times for Tottenham
When his manager backed away from contract offers in mid season while the England speculation was at its peak, Levy was less than impressed
Ralph Ellis sees the ramifications of Chelsea's Champions League win as potentially devastating for Tottenham.
When Didier Drogba rolled the winning penalty into the bottom left-hand corner of Bayern Munich's net, it marked the moment that one man pretty much lost his biggest gamble.
And no, I don't mean any of the thousands of people who had backed the German giants to win the Champions League in their own stadium at odds-on.
The man who suffered most was Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
Some 12 months earlier he had staked his club's future on refusing to sell Luka Modric to Chelsea in the belief that it would help his club return to the Premier League's top four, and so regain the place among Europe's elite they had enjoyed in the 2010-11 season. It took guts to turn down figures of up to £30m for the Croatian midfielder who was also being courted by Manchester United. It meant taking the chance of starting the season with an unhappy player who might have disrupted his dressing room.
In the event Modric performed like a perfect pro, Spurs enjoyed a wonderful first-half to the campaign, and ultimately, despite the disruption caused by speculation over whether Harry Redknapp would become England boss, they secured the fourth place that had been the target.
Then came Drogba's triumphant moment, Chelsea snatching Champions League football next season as holders, and Levy left to pick up the pieces. And the more the summer goes on, the more pieces it seems he could be having to recover.
Modric will be sought after again - he's between (1.35) and (1.77) to leave White Hart Lane in Betfair's specials markets.
But that will be only the start of Tottenham's problems.
Word is that Gareth Bale is also wondering about moving to a club where he will be guaranteed Champions League football. The Welsh winger knows that Barcelona fancy him. Manchester City are also willing to break the bank and in that climate he's reluctant to sign the new long-term contract that Spurs have put in front of him. The 'No' option in the Bale to Stay market is currently between (3.0) and (4.3) and there could be some value to be had.
In fact it's no coincidence that, with a Van der Vaart to stay market also listed, there are more issues about players from Tottenham on Betfair's specials list than any other club. But perhaps the biggest doubt of the lot is caused by Redknapp's name also featuring in the betting for the next Chelsea manager.
Redknapp's relationship with his chairman has always been uneasy. When his manager backed away from contract offers in mid season while the England speculation was at its peak, Levy was less than impressed. Now it's Harry who'd like a new contract and the chairman who is stalling on a deal. There is clearly some manoeuvring to come, and the cynics who recall Redknapp going from Portsmouth to Southampton and back again see (8.0) as a value bet for him to end up in charge at Stamford Bridge.
After all, we've grown used to the way managers can grumble about players and their agents lacking loyalty and then use the same agents to manipulate their own futures. Aston Villa exploited a clause in Paul Lambert's contract to prise him away from Norwich without needing to pay compensation. Brendan Rodgers turned down Liverpool's approach and then a fortnight later became the new boss at Anfield.
There are currently four Premier League clubs searching for a new boss, and plenty of intrigue to come. Chris Hughton at one point was backed with serious money at (1.03) to become next West Brom boss but is now available at anything up to (10.0). Former Schalke manager Ralf Rangnick was traded down to 1.2 and below last week but there were unconfirmed reports filtering from Germany at the weekend suggesting he is cooling on the job and the price this morning was closer to even money.
Meanwhile Michael Laudrup's agent has distanced the former Danish international from becoming the next Swansea manager. Yet the man who once took Getafe to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals is joint favourite with Gus Poyet to succeed Rodgers.
What's for certain is that while we've all got our eyes on Poland and Ukraine in the next few weeks there will be plenty of domestic changes taking place. Levy will just be hoping that too many of them don't happen at White Hart Lane.