avram grant 248.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
It may have taken a year-and-a-half, but Avram Grant finally got his prayers answered on Thursday when he was named as the new Portsmouth manager.
Ever since he was fired by Chelsea some 18 months ago, Grant had repeatedly claimed that he would eventually get another chance to guide an English Premier League club. That prospect seemed less and less likely with every month that passed, but the 54-yearold's optimism and patience were rewarded on Thursday when he was hired as Paul Hart's successor.
"Portsmouth Football Club can confirm that Avram Grant is to become manager," a club press release read. "He will take charge of the team for the home game against Manchester United at Fratton Park on Saturday in his capacity as Director of Football, having been granted his work permit.
"The club will then go through the process of making the technical change that will allow Avram to become manager. This involves acquiring a new sponsorship number from the Football Association to change his permit status."
It was just last month that Grant signed a two-year deal to rejoin Portsmouth in the same Director of Football role he formerly held in the 2006/07 season, during Harry Redknapp's managerial tenure at the club.
Grant left Fratton Park for a similar position at Chelsea two summers ago, before shockingly being appointed as the Blues manager in September 2007 following Jose Mourinho's departure.
Grant's eight months at Stamford Bridge were riddled with highs and lows and his time at the club came to a heartbreaking end after the team failed to claim a title under his guidance, finishing second in the Premier League and losing the Champions League final in a penalty shootout to Manchester United.
Ironically, Grant's first match as a coach since last May will also be against United, with the former Israel boss also facing Alex Ferguson's players in his first game as Chelsea manager more than two years ago.
Portsmouth is currently rock-bottom of the Premier League, a position it has occupied since the start of the season. The South Coast club lost its first seven matches of the campaign before finally picking up its first points of the season with a road victory over Wolves. The team has since claimed another win, but remains in last position with seven points from 13 matches after losing its last two games.
The club was taken over by Saudi Arabian property magnate Ali Al-Faraj last month and Grant is likely to be given the funds for several new signings in the January transfer window, should Portsmouth's current transfer embargo be lifted as expected.
"Avram is a very experienced and respected manager who has managed at the highest level. The board believes he is the man to help steer the club out of the relegation zone," Pompey chief executive officer Peter Storrie said.
"He knows the club, the players and the set-up at Fratton Park, so it was the logical move to make him the next manager, once the board had decided to relieve Paul Hart of the role. He will take charge of training on Friday alongside first-team coaches Paul Groves and Ian Woan."