Grant takes over at Portsmouth
Israeli to take charge against Man Utd 18 months after losing to them in ECL final.
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2009 13:13 GMT

Grant files past Man Utd players to collect his loser's medal in Moscow [GALLO/GETTY]

Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant has been appointed manager of the English Premier League's bottom club Portsmouth – just 18 months since he led his former side to the European Champions League final.

In a twist of fate, his next match will be against Manchester United, who beat his Chelsea team on penalties in Moscow in May 2008.

Due to work permit issues, Grant will officially remain the director of football when he leads the South Coast club onto the pitch at Fratton Park on Saturday.

The Israeli was fired by Chelsea after less than a season as manager – despite taking them a step further in Europe than previous boss Jose Mourinho could manage – and didn't return to English football until Portsmouth hired him as director of football last month.


Now he is replacing manager Paul Hart, who was fired earlier this week after collecting just seven points from 13 matches.

"Avram is a very experienced and respected manager who has managed at the highest level," chief executive Peter Storrie said on Thursday.

"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 setup at Fratton Park, so it was the logical move to make him the next manager."

Portsmouth said that securing a new work permit for the 54-year-old Grant involves a "technical change" to his status.

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