Grant rejects former Chelsea position

Ousted Chelsea manager says he turned down offer to return to his former position as director of soccer.

grant smiles 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
grant smiles 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Ousted Chelsea manager Avraham Grant said Tuesday that he rejected an offer to return to the English club in his former position as director of soccer. "I understand the proposal, but personally it wouldn't be the right thing to do at this stage," he said. Chelsea fired Grant on Saturday, three days after the Blues lost the Champions League final to Manchester United on penalty kicks in Moscow. Chelsea owner and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich brought Grant to the club as director of soccer in July 2007, before promoting him to manager two months later after firing Jose Mourinho. Grant said he is on good terms with Chelsea and denied British media reports he has hired Anthony Julius, a high-profile lawyer whose clients have included the late Princess Diana, to sue the club. "There are no problems with Chelsea. I am speaking with them directly and not through lawyers," Grant said. "I wish them good luck and I will go my own way. "Chelsea was a great period in my life, really great. I enjoyed it, professionally it was an amazing experience." Under Grant, Chelsea lost the League Cup final in extra-time to Tottenham and came second by two points to Man United in the Premier League to finish a season without a trophy for the first time since 2004. He denied media reports he received a severance package worth 5 million pounds (US$9.9 million) from Chelsea. "The compensation amount doesn't even come close to what was reported in the newspaper, but I have no problem if someone volunteers to pay the difference," Grant said. The 53-year-old Israeli has been linked with a move to Manchester City, with owner Thaksin Shinawatra widely expected to fire coach Sven-Goran Eriksson before next season. "There is nothing to talk about right now," Grant said. The biggest coaching names in the world have been mentioned as a possible replacement for Grant at Chelsea. They include Eriksson, former Italy coach Marcello Lippi, outgoing FC Barcelona's Frank Rijkaard, Inter Milan's Roberto Mancini, Russia's Guus Hiddink, Portugal's Luis Felipe Scolari and Blackburn's Mark Hughes, who played for Chelsea.