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On this day in 2009: Portsmouth appoint Avram Grant as manager

Soccer – Portsmouth Media Day – Wellington Sports Ground
(Image credit: Chris Ison)

Portsmouth announced Avram Grant as their new manager, replacing Paul Hart at the helm, on this day in 2009.

Grant took over with Pompey bottom of the Premier League, having collected just seven points from their first 13 games of the season.

The former Chelsea manager had been due to receive a work permit for his director of football role at Fratton Park at the time and initially continued to work in that capacity.

Avram Grant

Portsmouth’s Avram Grant during a press conference at the club’s Eastleigh Training Ground (Chris Ison/PA)

The club then went through what they described as the process of making the “technical change that will allow Avram to become manager”.

Grant took charge at Chelsea in similar circumstances two years earlier and went on to lead the London club to the Champions League final.

However, despite securing two wins and a draw from his first five Portsmouth games, Grant’s side were still bottom when the club were deducted nine points in March 2010 for entering administration with debts of around £65million.

Didier Drogba

Chelsea’s Didier Drogba celebrates winning the FA Cup after beating Portsmouth in the final at Wembley (Chris Ison/PA)

Relegation was confirmed on April 10 following West Ham’s win over Sunderland, but the following day Grant led Portsmouth to victory in their FA Cup semi-final with Tottenham at Wembley.

They went on to lose 1-0 to his former club Chelsea in the final, Didier Drogba scoring the only goal of the game.