English Premiership

Grant named Pompey manager

2009-11-26 14:09
New boss (File)

Portsmouth - English Premier League strugglers Portsmouth on Thursday named former Chelsea and Israel boss Avram Grant as their new manager.

Grant, who returned to the club as director of football in October, takes over from Paul Hart, who was sacked earlier this week. His first game in charge will be Saturday's meeting with champions Manchester United at Fratton Park.

Pompey chief executive officer Peter Storrie said: "Avram is a very experienced and respected manager who has managed at the highest level. The board believes he is the man to help steer the club out of the relegation zone.

"He knows the club, the players and the set-up at Fratton Park, so it was the logical move to make him the next manager, once the board had decided to relieve Paul Hart of the role.

"He will take charge of training on Friday alongside first-team coaches Paul Groves and Ian Woan."

Grant's appointment is subject to a modification of his work permit to take account of his new role but that is unlikely to cause any problem given his pedigree as a manager at the highest levels of football.

After making his name as a club and national team manager in Israel, Grant served briefly as Portsmouth's technical director before moving, in July 2007, to Chelsea.

He was initially director of football at Stamford Bridge before stepping in to the manager's chair following the departure of Jose Mourinho two months later.

Grant led Chelsea to the 2008 Champions League final but, after a penalty shoot-out defeat by Manchester United, he was sacked to make way for the appointment of Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Portsmouth have won only twice in the league this season and are three points adrift at the bottom of the table.

Hart, who was the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season, had been expected to leave the club completely but may now stay on in a technical director role.

The former Leeds manager took over from Tony Adams in February and won plaudits for keeping Portsmouth in the top flight last season.

But his job was made extremely tough as a result of severe financial constraints, which resulted in the sale of all but a handful of the players who had won the 2008 FA Cup under Harry Redknapp.

The club has also been beset by boardroom turmoil with Saudi Arabian businessman Ali Al-Faraj taking over in October just two months after Sulaiman Al-Fahim had assumed control.

Pompey have been subjected to a transfer ban because of concerns regarding unpaid fees to other clubs and chief executive Storrie was last month charged with tax evasion.

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