Grant sacked by Chelsea

By Danny Caro, May 23, 2008

Avram Grant has had his contract terminated with immediate affect just three days after his Chelsea team were beaten in the Champions League final by Manchester United and finished the campaign without a trophy.

Following two days of meetings between club officials and the manager, a statement on the Chelsea said: "We would like to thank Avram for his contribution since taking over as manager last September.

"We will now be concentrating all our efforts on identifying a new manager for Chelsea and there will be no further comment until that appointment is made."

Avram's dreams of glory die in the rain

Grant was unhappy with the manner of his departure. A source close to the former Israeli national team boss said: "Avram feels very hurt, upset and angry. Avram said he doesn't trust them any more.

"It was not a friendly meeting at all. Avram does not want anything to do with the club now. He didn't even want to discuss his compensation, which will run into millions. He told Roman to speak to his lawyer."

Another source also added: "Avram thinks Chelsea are totally ruthless."


Snapshot: Avram Grant's Chelsea career

The 53-year-old Israeli was inconsolable after the Blues snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Msscow where they were beaten on penalties.

Grant was lost for words after his team came from behind to finish the better team. Having beaten United 2-1 in a recent league encounter, the West London club got off to a disastrous start in their first Champions League final when Ronaldo put the Mancunians ahead. But Chelsea gradually awoke from their slumber with Frank Lampard levelling things up on the stroke of half time.

Chelsea were the better team for the remainder of the contest that was taken to extra time. Twice they were denied by the woodwork as United rode their luck and, and then in a nail-biting shootout, John Terry had the chance to win it but slipped and saw his effort strike the post.

United’s league and cup double was confirmed when keeper Edwin Van Der Saar saved Nicolas Anelka’s penalty leaving Grant and owner Roman Abramovich dreaming of what might have been.

Grant commented: "What can I say? Except in the beginning, we dominated the game, we hit the post two times and then we lost on penalties. The team played excellently and I am very proud."

"It's not the last time you will see Chelsea in the final," the rain-sodden Israeli vowed. "You will see us back and we will win the final.

"I'm in the first year in English football and in the first year we had so many good things, and one of them is to be in the final. I'm very, very proud of what we did until now. I'm very, very proud of the way we played in the final; the spirit of the team was good, the quality was good; penalties are penalties.”

As United lifted the cup, Grant and Terry slumped into an emotional heap with the boss consoling his tearful captain.

Having led the club to the runners-up spot in the Premier League, Grant, who would have become the first Israeli to win the competition, said: "Terry was great all season, in the semi-final and this game. He is the reason they didn't create any chances. I feel sorry for him and the team.

While the defeat leaves Grant’s position as Chelsea manager in the balance, the Israeli received high praise from United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

"When Avram went to Chelsea it was to help [then manager] Jose Mourinho," said Ferguson. "He didn't foresee the chain of events that would lead to Jose leaving so soon.

"It has been a very difficult time for them after he was thrust into the job. Jose took with him certain loyalties from his players and that is a very tough thing for a new man to regain.

"But Avram has done that. He has done an amazing job and he has been in charge of an incredible season for Chelsea."


Last updated: 3:12pm, March 2 2009