English Soccer: Grant's Pompey debut delayed by visa wait

English Soccer Grants

Avraham Grant will not begin working at English Premier League club Portsmouth until the middle of next week at the earliest, as the club are being forced to wait for his work permit to be approved by the British Home office. When he was appointed as Director of Football at Portsmouth last week it had been expected that the 54-year-old former Chelsea manager and Israel national team coach would start his job at Fratton Park last Monday. However he has had to apply for a work permit as Israel is not part of the EU. "He had hoped to start on Monday but I think was unrealistic because we only made the announcement last week," Portsmouth's Director of Communications Gary Double told The Jerusalem Post. "It was always a little bit optimistic. We don't know how long it will take but we would hope the process will be completed within a week to ten days." Pompey Chief Executive Peter Storrie said the situation was frustrating for the team, which lost all seven of its league matches this season before defeating Wolves on October 3. "He has applied in the normal way and all we can do is wait and see what happens. It is annoying but these things take time," Storrie said. There have been rumors that Grant is being lined up to replace current Portsmouth manager Paul Hart. The 56-year-old incumbent will now have to face Tottenham's Harry Redknapp on Saturday without the help of Grant, who had been expected to be sitting on the bench for this weekend's game.