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Avram Grant dismayed by prospect of Pompey player sales

Avram Grant
Grant has won just four of his 17 games in charge of Pompey

Portsmouth boss Avram Grant has expressed his exasperation at the prospect of further player sales at the liquidation-threatened club.

The debt-ridden south coast side have sought Fifa's permission to sell players outside the transfer windows.

And Grant, who saw Younes Kaboul and Asmir Begovic sold in January, is more than unhappy with developments.

"Things have happened here that I never accepted in the past and I will not accept in the future," he said.

"There are many things that have happened here that I don't like. But because of the club and the fans, I am trying to do the best I can with this situation," the Israeli added.

Fifa confirmed on Thursday that it received correspondence from the Football Association relating to Portsmouth's financial situation.

It is understood world football's governing body will look favourably on the request to sell players outside of the two windows, which run from 1 January to 31 January and from 1 June to 31 August respectively.


However, the Premier League, which will consult its other 19 clubs before making a decision, would also have to agree to the move.

But Grant is unimpressed by the possibility of losing more of his squad, with Algeria international Nadir Belhadj, midfielder Kevin Prince-Boateng and young defender Marc Wilson the latest players to be linked with departures.

"At the beginning, I thought it was a joke. But now I know it is not a joke," he said. "I don't even want to talk about this because I came to this club to do something.

"But every week, or every day sometimes, there is a new thing and I don't know whether these things are sad or funny sometimes.

"Everything happens after we get a good result - something happened after the wins against Burnley and Liverpool.

"We got a good result against Southampton and I thought nothing could happen now because there is no transfer window. You cannot say there is no creativity at this club."

Grant has failed to lift the club off the bottom of the league since he succeeded Paul Hart last November.

But the former Chelsea boss says a string of broken promises have severely hampered his efforts to revive his team, who are a daunting seven points off nearest relegation rivals Burnley and Bolton.

"I'm not happy with the situation because when you promise something, you need to keep your promise," he said.

"I know it's not easy in football and I know not 100% of the things I want can be done. But it's not possible that 100% of the things will not be done.

Because of the club and the fans, I am trying to do the best I can with this situation

Avram Grant

"I don't know who is at fault - I am not involved with the financial situation.

"But I'm trying not to think about myself at the moment and I'll give everything to the team, which is important for the future of the club.

"I know not many people believed I would stay two months ago, but I stayed even though the situation was very bad."

Portsmouth have already had four owners this season and are understood to be in negotiations with two buyers who are interested in taking them over.

They survived a winding-up order last week but were forced to deliver a detailed statement of their finances to both the High Court and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs on Wednesday.

And they face another winding-up petition from HMRC over an unpaid £11.7m tax bill on 1 March.

If this results in administration the club will be deducted nine points, which would virtually guarantee their relegation to the Championship.

Hong Kong-based businessman Balram Chainrai became the club's fourth owner of the season in early February when he secured 90% of the club's shares after previous owner Ali Al Faraj defaulted on loan payments due to Chainrai.

The club are also involved in a separate dispute with former owner Sacha Gaydamak over whether they have missed a deadline in paying a £9m chunk of the £28m they owe to him.

The Premier League recently withheld £2m of transfer payments and a £7m slice of television revenue to divert to Chelsea and Watford for the signings of Glen Johnson and Tommy Smith respectively.

The Fratton Park outfit are also being sued by former defender Sol Campbell for £1.7m for unpaid image rights.

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see also
Portsmouth transfer plea rejected
20 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth reveal financial state
17 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey chairman denies debt claim
17 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey get provisional court date
12 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey given extra time by court
10 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Pompey takeover to be challenged
04 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Groups 'express Pompey interest'
07 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth transfer embargo ended
26 Jan 10 |  Portsmouth

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