Hammers duo excited at Grant arrival

Published Jun. 3, 2010 8:41 a.m. ET

Sullivan and Gold hope Grant will bring stability to Upton Park after the club spent much of last season flirting with relegation from the Premier League. Popular Italian Gianfranco Zola paid for the troubled campaign with his job shortly after West Ham finished one place above the relegation zone on 35 points. Keen to avoid another fraught season, the club have identified former Portsmouth and Chelsea manager Grant as the man to usher in more harmonious times. "I have to say that having met Avram and spent some time with him, we have got our man. He is a perfect fit," Gold told the club's official website. "We needed experience and stability. He's a footballing man and quite frankly his reputation speaks for itself. "He has a great sense of humour and I'm sure the players will relate to him and the fans will warm to him." Grant has agreed a four-year deal subject to a work permit and the club hope to unveil him later this month. The 55-year-old arrives at Upton Park having overcome all odds to steer Portsmouth into last month's FA Cup final where the fairytale ended with defeat by Chelsea. Working amid horrendous financial constraints, Grant inspired a club that had been placed into administration to punch well above its weight and won unanimous approval as a result. His defiance of Championship-bound Portsmouth's dire situation and success on the pitch earnt him the adoration of supporters and saw his stock as a Premier League manager soar. Two years earlier, he was sacked by Chelsea after losing the Champions League final to Manchester United on penalties. "I'm proud and honoured to be the manager of West Ham. It's an exciting challenge and I'm ready to do my best," said Grant. "West Ham is a fantastic club with great fans and a history that is respected around the world. "I'm already looking forward to getting to work with my players in July and preparing for the new season." Grant, who stepped down from Portsmouth two weeks ago, was strongly linked with the West Ham vacancy from the moment Zola was sacked. Among his rivals for the job were Croatia coach Slaven Bilic, Ian Holloway - boss of Premier League newcomers Blackpool, Cardiff manager Dave Jones and Sam Allardyce of Blackburn. "I'm delighted to welcome Avram to West Ham and am confident he will prove a success," said Sullivan. "We have taken our time over this appointment and are certain we have got the right man. "We are all looking forward to next season with new players coming in and Avram's arrival is just the latest reason for real optimism."