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Sol's statement

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Sol Campbell has released a statement to confirm that he has decided to leave the club at the end of his current contract.

The big defender insists the decision was the hardest of his football career, based 'purely on football' and claims he needs to be playing in the major European club competitions 'sooner rather than later'.

We revealed on Sunday morning that Sol had opted to leave despite our offer to make him the highest paid player in our history and one of the biggest earners in the Premiership.

However his demands - a £20million three-year deal including a clause that he can walk away from the club as a free agent if we fail to achieve a Champions League place by the end of next season - were deemed unacceptable.

Sol's statment in full read: "Following lengthy discussions with Tottenham Hotspur I have decided to leave the club at the end of my contract on June 30, 2001.

"This has been the hardest decision of my football career.

"My decision has been a prolonged one. This is because I wanted to give the club every opportunity to have inputs into my future.

"I will be 27 in September and need to be playing in the major European club competitions sooner rather than later.

"My decision has been based purely on football. I have been at Spurs for 10 years and my commitment to the club during that time is there for all to see.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people at the club who have supported me over the last 10 years and would like to say a big 'thankyou' to all the fans."