Grant not ready to commit to Portsmouth

LONDON - Portsmouth manager Avram Grant was not ready to commit his future to the Premier League club beyond the end of the season, he said on Friday.

Portsmouth face almost certain relegation with a nine-point deduction for going into administration last week expected to be endorsed by the league later this month.

Grant, preparing for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against Birmingham City at Fratton Park, told reporters at his pre-match briefing, he was not thinking too far ahead at the moment.

"We don't know what will happen. We don't know who the owner will be or what will happen with the administration," he said.

"First, I want to see what happens with the club."

Portsmouth were due to have the points deducted last week but the league delayed the penalty after the Government's Revenue and Customs department challenged the legality of the club's move into voluntary administration while they still owe the tax department 7.5 million pounds.


Israeli Grant said he could have left the club in January when players were transferred without his knowledge, explaining: "On the football side, maybe I could have left in January.

"I stayed and I'm very happy with the fans and the players. These people deserve more."

If Portsmouth win on Saturday they will earn a semi-final at Wembley in April and a return to the stadium in very different circumstances on and off the pitch from their previous visit in May 2008 when they beat Cardiff City to win the FA Cup.

"For the moment, I think everyone is concentrating on saving the team. This club is very important to us," Grant added.

"But we have a game on Saturday and if we win we will be in the last four, so we want to win anyway."

The club's administrator Andrew Andronikou, who has estimated the club's overall debts at 78.0 million pounds, told reporters on Thursday there were 12 parties interested in taking control of the club.

He said he had already met two possible bidders and was studying the others.

"There is no timescale. We are not rushing. We want to do it properly. We need a measured approach," Andronikou said.

"It's about putting the club in the hands of someone who is going to look after it and make sure it's in a good position in three, six, nine months' time."