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Grant named new Portsmouth manager

Avram Grant takes charge of a Portsmouth team battling to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Avram Grant takes charge of a Portsmouth team battling to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant returns to management with English club Portsmouth
  • The Israeli replaces the sacked Paul Hart, with Pompey bottom of the Premier League
  • Grant returned for his second stint at Fratton Park as director of football in October
  • He will retain that title while Portsmouth change his work permit status with the FA
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(CNN) -- Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant has returned to management after being named by English Premier League club Portsmouth to replace the sacked Paul Hart.

The Israeli will at first take charge under his current role as the south-coast club's director of football while Portsmouth get clearance from the English Football Association to change his work permit status.

The 54-year-old, who was Pompey's technical director in the 2006-07 season before moving to Chelsea as director of football, returned to Fratton Park in October subject to receiving a permit from the UK Home Office.

"Avram is a very experienced and respected manager who has managed at the highest level," chief executive Peter Storrie told Portsmouth's official Web site on Thursday.

"The board believes he is the man to help steer the club out of the relegation zone. He knows the club, the players and the set-up at Fratton Park, so it was the logical move to make him 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."

Grant replaced Jose Mourinho as Chelsea manager but was sacked at the end of the 2007-08 season after the Londoners finished second to Manchester United in both the Premier League and Champions League.

The board believes he is the man to help steer the club out of the relegation zone
--Chief executive Peter Storrie

He takes over a Portsmouth team rooted to the bottom of the table with only seven points after 13 matches ahead of Saturday's home game against champions United.

Hart was sacked on Tuesday, having struggled to repeat the form that saw Portsmouth avoid relegation last season after he took over in February with the club in a precarious position.

He lost star players such as Peter Crouch, Niko Kranjcar, Sylvain Distin and Glen Johnson in the offseason as Sulaiman Al-Fahim's protracted takeover left the club short of cash and unable to invest in new players until right at the very end of the transfer window.

Al-Fahim was forced to sell a controlling holding in October to Saudi investor Ali al-Faraj, who had earlier failed with a takeover bid, which was led by Storrie.

The extent of the club's failing finances were highlighted last month when the Premier League imposed a transfer embargo for failing to pay money owed to other clubs -- reportedly over the purchases of Lassana Diarra from Arsenal and Johnson from Chelsea.