Grant mulls position as Kaboul quits
Manager's future in doubt after being left in dark over defender's return to Spurs
Saturday 30 January 2010
Avram Grant will take charge of Portsmouth's match at Manchester City tomorrow but the manager is understood to still be considering his future following the sale of defender Younes Kaboul to Tottenham Hotspur.
Grant and the chief executive, Peter Storrie, were furious that Kaboul and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic were being offered to Tottenham behind their backs. The deals were sanctioned by owner Ali al-Faraj's financial director, Danny Azougy.
Storrie and Grant both threatened to quit on Thursday evening but were in talks with the club yesterday about staying. Storrie announced that he would remain in his job while Grant is thought to have asked for more time to consider his position. He will, however, take charge at Manchester City tomorrow because he does not want to unsettle the club any further.
Storrie spoke yesterday of the anger both he and Grant felt over plots to sell players without their knowledge. Storrie said: "We have spoken about it. We are both angry, frustrated and fed up, but neither of us are quitters. I don't intend to quit now I've slept on it, and although I cannot speak for Avram, from what we have talked about this morning I don't think he will quit either. And, let's face it, we both have good reason to walk out.
"I am no longer involved in the finances. I am not involved in the transfer negotiations, and Avram doesn't know what players are being sold. The two best players on the pitch in our last game against West Ham, Kaboul and Begovic, have been sold to Spurs, and who knows? It might not stop there. That's not good for Avram, so you can understand why he is frustrated and angry about it, but at least it will keep the club alive for two or three months, maybe until the end of the season, which gives you all time to sort out what is going on here."
Grant yesterday cancelled his weekly press conference in the wake of the Kaboul fiasco. Portsmouth desperately need some of the money from the Kaboul deal, which will bring in around £6m, to cover the players' monthly wage bill of £1.8m, which was due yesterday. The funds, however, first have to go to the Premier League before they can be forwarded to Portsmouth.
Portsmouth yesterday re-signed Tottenham midfielder Jamie O'Hara on loan until the end of the season. O'Hara, 23, made 14 appearances for the South Coast club in the first half of the campaign, scoring his only goal in a 3-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers in November. He briefly returned to White Hart Lane earlier this month when his loan deal expired, but has moved back to Portsmouth after the Premier League's bottom club succeeded in having their transfer embargo lifted. O'Hara, who joined Spurs' academy in 2003, goes straight into the squad to face Manchester City.
Portsmouth are still waiting for Kanu, Nadir Belhadj and Hassan Yebda to return from the Africa Cup of Nations, and questions remain over the immediate future of Lens loanee Aruna Dindane. Striker David Nugent is back after a loan spell at Burnley.
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