Grant ‘misled’ by Pompey owners

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.”