portsmouth news

Grant named Pompey boss and promised funds

November 26, 2009
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Portsmouth have confirmed that director of football Avram Grant will succeed Paul Hart as the club's manager - and ESPN Soccernet can reveal that he has been promised the funds for three new signings in the January transfer window.

Avram Grant
GettyImagesGrant has been given a work permit and will take charge from Saturday
• Grant offered Pompey job

ESPN Soccernet revealed on Wednesday that Grant was likely to be appointed within 24 hours, and he has now signed a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Grant will take charge of the team for the game against Manchester United at Fratton Park on Saturday in his capacity as director of football, having been granted his work permit.

The club will now go through the process of making the technical change to his work permit that will allow Grant to become manager. This involves acquiring a new sponsorship number from the Football Association to change his permit status.

And an insider told ESPN Soccernet: "If he saves the club from relegation, he will be a big hero, but he needs new players."

Another source close to the club added: "Avram has signed a near three-year contract and hasn't asked for any other coaches - he will keep the coaches already here. There is talk of the funds being in place for January transfers, and the suggestion is there will be two or three new players.

"The transfer embargo hasn't been lifted yet, there is still a technical problem, but once the payment to Chelsea is made at the end of this month, we would expect the embargo to be lifted."

Grant spent the 2006-07 season as Pompey's technical director before joining Chelsea as director of football. He became manager at Stamford Bridge and steered Chelsea to the Champions League final.

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."