Portsmouth survival top of Avram Grant’s wish list

By Simon Griver, December 10, 2009
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Points, not revenge will be the name of the game for Portsmouth boss Avram Grant ahead of Wednesday’s emotional return to Chelsea for a top against bottom match in the Premier League.

Grant was controversially sacked by Chelsea in May 2008, just three days after leading the club to its first Champions League final, where the Blues lost in Moscow in a penalty shoot-out to Manchester United.

The Israeli will be boosted not only by his 2-0 victory over Burnley at Fratton Park last weekend but also by the presence of his family who are staying in England for Chanukah.

Grant’s family will remain in Israel to provide continuity for the children’s education. Grant said: “It is very difficult to be in England without the family. I am very attached to them, especially after the recent death of my father.”

The uncertainty of the situation at Fratton Park was underlined by the fact that the players and Grant himself did not receive their full November salaries on time, and the Saudi owner was forced to take a loan for the second consecutive month.

The JC understands that Israeli businessman Roni Mana, a former shareholder in Maccabi Tel Aviv, set up Grant’s appointment at Portsmouth. Ahmed Al Faraj, the brother of Pompey owner Ali Al Faraj said: “I have many advisors among them Roni Mana and his people, who serve me as economic consultants and assist me. He recommended Avram to me and I decided to bring him in.

“Grant needs our support and we have promised to give it to him. I am sure he will not let the team get relegated.”

    Last updated: 3:48pm, December 10 2009