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Portsmouth's nine-point deduction unjust - Avram Grant

Avram Grant
Grant is congratulated by fans after victory at Burnley

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant claims his team's imminent nine-point deduction is unjust.

The Premier League will penalise bottom club Portsmouth for going into administration, and the result means their relegation is a near-certainty.

After seeing his side win 2-1 at Burnley, Grant thinks Pompey's fate should be decided solely on the field.

"Football should be decided on the pitch not in the courts, not in the Premier League offices," he said.

The Hampshire club's season of crisis, which has seen four changes of ownership, took another grim turn on Friday when Pompey became the first Premier League club in history to enter administration.

Premier League rules dictate that clubs entering administration are automatically deducted nine points.

With Grant's side already precariously positioned at the foot of the table on 19 points - five points adrift of safety - that would almost certainly result in the south coast side's drop to the Championship.

Former Chelsea boss Grant feels strongly that the Pompey faithful should not be made to suffer for the club's money problems.


"The fans should not be victims in this scenario," he said. "Of course, we should not be docked nine points.

"All my life I have been fighting for justice and in the interests of fair play, we need football to be decided on the field.

"Maybe someone, somewhere, will think about the fans, who have done nothing wrong."

The Israeli, though, was buoyed by his team's resilience on Saturday as Hassan Yebda's penalty earned them all three points at relegation rivals Burnley on Saturday.

"We are showing character. In spite of everything, we have won and I am very, very proud of the players," he said.

"In this situation it would be very easy to be in a negative mood and lay down and die, but we're not doing that.

"I'm very proud to be part of the Portsmouth family."

A Frederic Piquionne tap-in had given Portsmouth a 25th-minute lead, only for Martin Paterson to level for the Clarets six minutes later.

However, after Burnley goalkeeper had saved a Jamie O'Hara penalty, Yebda made no mistake from the spot when Pompey won a second penalty, giving his only their second away win in the league in the last 16 months.

It may prove to be futile at the end of season, but Grant vowed that he would give his all for the club until the end.

"I cannot promise anything, other than as long as I am here then I will fight for the city and the club because it's the right thing to do," he said.

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see also
Burnley 1-2 Portsmouth
27 Feb 10 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
27 Feb 10 |  Football
Saturday football as it happened
27 Feb 10 |  Football
Administrator vows to save Pompey
26 Feb 10 |  Portsmouth

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