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Grant seals return to Portsmouth

Avram Grant
Grant has kept a low profile since leaving Chelsea in 2008

Avram Grant has returned to Portsmouth as their new director of football.

The 54-year-old Israeli was technical director at Fratton Park from June 2006 to July 2007, before leaving to become director of football at Chelsea.

He subsequently succeeded Jose Mourinho as manager at Stamford Bridge before being sacked in May 2008.

Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie believes that Grant's arrival will provide "an experienced man" alongside current manager Paul Hart.

"People can construe it how they like - the fact is he has been brought in as a director of football and that has been made abundantly clear," said Storrie.

"He will work with Paul and do exactly the same as what he did with Harry. He will be involved in the coaching.

"Paul selects the team but he is missing an experienced man alongside him at the moment."

Storrie welcomes Grant's return to Pompey

Storrie confirmed that the club has also brought in new chief scout Ray Clarke, who has previously worked under Gordon Strachan at Coventry, Southampton and Celtic.

"As far as signing players in the future is concerned, it will be all of us making the decisions, including our new chief scout Ray Clarke, myself, Avram and Paul."

Grant's arrival is the first significant move at Portsmouth since Ali Al Faraj completed his 90% buy-out of the club this week.

Grant, who led Chelsea to the 2008 Champions League final in Moscow, will work alongside Portsmouth manager Paul Hart as the club aim to climb off the bottom of the Premier League.

England and Portsmouth goalkeeper David James said the move was a welcome step in the right direction for the club.

"I love Avram, he's a great guy," said James.

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Matt Slater

"When I first joined the club he was there and he was very active in preparation for matches. He's a very wise man and his football knowledge is immense.

"It's a very good move."

Storrie has already confirmed that money will be available in January to strengthen the side as a result of Saudi property tycoon Al Faraj's takeover, following a tumultuous 42-day period under the ownership of Arab businessman Sulaiman Al Fahim.

Grant, who has kept a low profile since his sacking by Chelsea, has also managed the Israeli national side and achieved success in his homeland with both Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa.

He was just one kick away from delivering the Champions League trophy at Chelsea during his only season in charge, denied only by John Terry's missed penalty.

His Chelsea side also lost out in the Carling Cup final that season, beaten 2-1 by Tottenham at Wembley, and finished runners-up to Manchester United in the Premier League.

I love Avram - James

The scale of Portsmouth's financial problems was exposed last week when the club admitted that players had not received their pay in the build-up to Saturday's 1-0 win at Wolves, their first league victory of the season.

"The non-pay issue was not good," added James.

"The people who needed to get paid got paid but it was more the bigger picture. Now we've got our first win and our first clean sheet, it's a much happier place."

Pompey's next game is on 17 October, when they entertain Tottenham, who lie third behind Chelsea and Manchester United.



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see also
Saudi completes Pompey takeover
06 Oct 09 |  Portsmouth
Grant eyes Premier League return
30 Nov 08 |  Football
Grant sacked as Chelsea manager
24 May 08 |  Chelsea
The new man in the Chelsea hot seat
20 Sep 07 |  Chelsea
Chelsea name Grant as new manager
20 Sep 07 |  Chelsea
Grant given position at Chelsea
08 Jul 07 |  Chelsea


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