Grant ‘misled’ by Pompey owners

Portsmouth boss Avram Grant feels "let down" by events at Fratton Park this season, and claims he was made promises that have not been kept.

Pompey were officially confirmed as relegated on Saturday after a turbulent campaign that has seen four owners come and go, players unable to play due to bonus clauses and outstanding fees and, finally, becoming the first club in Premier League history to go into administration and receive a nine-point deduction.

The one solace the South Coast club can take from what has been a testing time at Fratton Park is an inspiring run to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, in which they take on Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday.

Grant has come in for praise at the way he has handled the situation, effectively taking the club to this stage of the cup with his hands tied behind his back.

But as Grant’s side prepare to face some very familiar faces in Spurs boss, and the man who won the cup with Pompey two years ago, Harry Redknapp, as well as former stars Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Niko Krancjar, the Israeli confessed that the club’s hierarchy had misled their staff and supporters.

"I feel like I am fighting for people who are victims of circumstances beyond their control," said Grant.

"I try to do the job without blaming people. I don’t want to be the judge.

"I don’t know who is responsible for this mess, but I know who is not to blame and that is my players, my staff and the supporters.

"Of course I feel let down. Promises were made to me that were not kept.

"The supporters want answers, that’s only natural. They deserve to know the truth, but I can’t help them. The people responsible for this mess admit they misled me. They say they didn’t realise the enormity of the situation. I have to accept that."

Grant went on to say that cost cutting has now gone to extreme levels, with the club not even being able to afford the most basic of items.

"Our chef has been performing miracles. He doesn’t even have a budget for tea bags any more," Grant added.

"For a time we couldn’t afford to prepare the training ground pitches properly, putting all the players at risk of injury."

The opportunity for escapism for everyone involved with the club comes in the form of their semi-final, with Pompey upsetting the odds to win a fierce South Coast derby away to Southampton, and beat high-flying Birmingham to reach this stage of the competition.

And Grant was adamant that his side’s trials and tribulations this campaign were worth it to see smiles on supporters’ faces during their cup run.

"To beat Southampton in the FA Cup was so important for the supporters, but it’s a privilege to see so many people happy – they never did anything wrong," he added.

"All they did was turn up to support their team and yet they don’t know if they will have a team to support after today. No one does."