Grant will let Pompey stars leave

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant is ready to accept players being

sold behind his back – for the first and last time in his career.

Portsmouth are reportedly £60 million in debt and facing

a winding-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs in the High Court

early next month.

Those problems have prompted the club to apply to the Premier

League for permission to sell players outside of the usual transfer


The likes of Algerian left-back Nadir Belhadj and promising

centre-half Marc Wilson have both been linked with moves away to

balance the club’s books.

Chief executive Peter Storrie admitted he and Grant nearly

walked out of Fratton Park last month, when Younes Kaboul and Asmir

Begovic were sold without their say-so.

But the former Chelsea manager is prepared to do his best for

the club as long as he is in charge, despite the prospect of his

already threadbare squad being further depleted.

On the subject of players being sold behind his back, Grant

said: “It has happened to me for the first time in my life.

“I needed to take a decision, and I took a decision to stay

and do everything I could for the club.

“There are many things that have happened here that I don’t

like. Things have happened here that I never accepted in the past

and I will not accept in the future.

“But because of the club and the fans, I am trying to do the

best I can with this situation.”

After the high of knocking local rivals Southampton out of

the FA Cup last weekend, Grant admits he was brought back down to

earth with a bump when he heard news of Portsmouth considering more

player sales.

He said: “At the beginning, I thought it was a joke. But now

I know it is not a joke.

“I don’t even want to talk about this because I came to this

club to do something.

“But every week, or every day sometimes, there is a new thing

and I don’t know whether these things are sad or funny sometimes.

“Everything happens after we get a good result – something

happened after the wins against Burnley and Liverpool.

“We got a good result against Southampton and I thought

nothing could happen now because there is no transfer window. You

cannot say there is no creativity at this club.”

When he took over as manager from Paul Hart in November,

Grant was not expecting his every wish to be provided.

But he says a string of broken promises have severely

hampered his efforts to keep a sinking club in the Premier League.

He said: “I’m not happy with the situation because when you

promise something, you need to keep your promise.

“I know it’s not easy in football and I know not 100 per cent

of the things I want can be done. But it’s not possible that 100

per cent of the things will not be done.

“I don’t know who is at fault – I am not involved with the

financial situation.

“But I’m trying not to think about myself at the moment and

I’ll give everything to the team, which is important for the future

of the club.

“I know not many people believed I would stay two months ago,

but I stayed even though the situation was very bad.”