Portsmouth ask Grant to turn tide

Former Chelsea manager handed transfer funds to save Pompey from the drop

The new Portsmouth manager, Avram Grant, has been promised that there are funds available to spend on players in January and that he will be able to appoint backroom staff when he embarks on the task of keeping the club in the Premier League.

The former Chelsea manager took charge of the club yesterday, although the writing has been on the wall for Paul Hart, who was sacked on Tuesday, ever since Grant was appointed director of football last month. It was a similar scenario to the way in which Grant took over from Jose Mourinho at Chelsea more than two years ago, when he was first appointed director of football and then finally got the big job.

The club, bottom of the table, have been in financial chaos all summer and had a transfer embargo imposed upon them by the Premier League for much of the last transfer window. Hart, who won two out of 13 league games this season, was limited mainly to loan signings in August but Grant was given assurances by the club's owners, the Al-Faraj family, that he will have money to spend in January.

When he was in charge at Chelsea during 2007-08, Grant appointed the Dutch coach Henk ten Cate as his assistant, a decision which did not prove to be as successful as he had hoped as Ten Cate had a training ground row with the club captain John Terry. For the time being Grant will work with the first-team coaches, Paul Groves and Ian Woan.

The Israeli's visa status has become an awkward issue for the club. For now he will have to continue to work nominally as director of football because that is what is stipulated on his Home Office visa, although how they define the role is not clear. Yesterday, Portsmouth were at great pains to point out that Grant would be reapplying for his visa.

Hart announced yesterday that he would not be taking up the club's offer to coach in the academy, where he worked before he succeeded Tony Adams as manager in February. He said that his ambition was to work as a manager again rather than go back to coaching young players, the job in which he made his name.

Hart said: "I would like at this time to thank all of the supporters and players for the backing they have given during my time at Portsmouth. The speed of recent events, though, has been somewhat surprising and I am naturally disappointed not to be able to continue in the role at Portsmouth.

"Unfortunately I do not believe that having been the manager of Portsmouth I will be able to return to the youth team role that has been offered to me by the club and it is with deep regret that my time with Portsmouth has now come to an end. I look forward to a return to management in the near future."

Grant's first game in charge of Portsmouth tomorrow will be against Manchester United, as it was when he took over Chelsea in September 2007. Chelsea lost that game at Old Trafford 2-0 and Grant's first match in English football ended with him complaining about the referee. In that case it was Mike Dean who denied Joe Cole a penalty when he was tripped by Patrice Evra and also sent off John Obi Mikel in dubious circumstances.

The Portsmouth chief executive, 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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Sport
Chelsea's Loic Remy opens the scoring
footballLatest score and Twitter updates from the Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are