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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct 30, 2008

Levy: Ramos backed sale of Berbatov

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has defended his reign at White Hart Lane and the continental structure he championed - highlighting how Juande Ramos had the final say in Dimitar Berbatov's sale.

Levy insists he would have been willing to keep Berbatov at Spurs but Ramos sanctioned the move to Manchester United when the striker became a negative presence in the dressing room.

Ramos, who was sacked on Saturday following just three Premier League wins since landing the Carling Cup in February, was also accused of losing the dressing room, illustrated by three red cards in his final two games.

''When you start getting players being sent off all the time and heads go down, there is a point where I felt I had to do something drastic to turn this thing around,'' said Levy. ''I think it was plain to see that some of the players weren't performing as well as you'd expect them to perform.''

Ramos has received sympathy for working in the continental structure where sporting director Damien Comolli scouted and recruited players, a system scrapped following the appointment of Harry Redknapp.

Comolli's transfer record was poor but Levy insisted that Ramos would have the final day on signings.

''There has never been a player signed or sold by the club that the coach has not supported,'' Levy said. ''They are ultimately the coach's decision. In the case of Dimitar Berbatov, at the end of the transfer window when we weren't successful in bringing in an experienced striker, it was the coach who decided to let Dimitar go even though we didn't have a replacement. It is the coach.

''Juande managed the team and his advice was that he didn't want a player that didn't want to be in his squad. He thought it would be detrimental to the team as a whole. I backed his advice.''

Levy also suggested he would go back to a continental structure under a different coach, but that Redknapp does not need the system to succeed.

''If we had brought in a different type of manager [to Harry], if we had brought in a foreign coach, maybe the structure would have stayed,'' Levy said. ''Martin Jol is doing very well in Germany and he is operating under a sporting director.

''The irony is that if you call the sporting director a different name you would not have the negativity that we currently have. If we called him chief scout or chief executive of football you would not have the negativity around it.''

Defending the role of sporting director, Levy revealed how former Spurs boss Jol enquired about Younes Kaboul - one of Comolli's famous flops - when he took over at Hamburg.

Jol's success in Germany has been embarrassing during Tottenham's dismal start to the campaign, particularly given the lengths at which the club went to recruit Ramos, who they famously met at the Alfonso XIII hotel in Sevilla at the start of last season.

''You guys mention that (meeting), but you don't say anything about the fact about how Martin went for a job interview at Newcastle while he was employed by us,'' Levy said. ''People don't mention that much.''

Spurs have a fixed fee in Ramos' contract to settle his contract but the initial settlement for his move from Spain is yet to be resolved, with Levy adding: ''Juande is still in dispute with Sevilla.''

Levy's comments came on the day Tottenham announced healthy financial figures and plans for a 60,000-seater stadium adjacent to White Hart Lane.

Progress at the club has been perceived as a plan to eventually sell the club - but Levy insists that is not the case.

''We are a public company with more than 20,000 shareholders,'' he said. ''If the club receives an unconditional offer the board as a whole with its independent advisors considers to be fair, we would all have to consider it. We have not to date received an unconditional offer.''

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