Six spurned Hammers - Reports
The Guardian claims that owners David Gold and David Sullivan were set to sack the Israeli in January, but their failure to secure a replacement meant Grant stayed at Upton Park for the remainder of the season. Grant was sacked less than an hour after West Ham's relegation The newspaper quotes a 'close friend' of Grant as saying his position was undermined in January, when the owners looked set to dismiss the Israeli. The 'friend' said: "He says six managers were asked by the club to take over, including Steve McClaren and Sam Allardyce, but they would not do it because they knew the situation there. "Avram feels frustrated. If he had not been sacked he believes he could have steadied the club and taken it on to much better things next season." Remarkably, the 'friend' claims Grant found it easier to operate at Portsmouth, than he did at West Ham, reportedly saying: "He actually said that despite all the financial difficulties at Portsmouth, where players were not being paid and the club faced liquidation, that job was far easier than the West Ham one because he could concentrate on the on-field job." Another 'source close to the Israeli' also outlined the problems that Grant's replacement may face in dealing with West Ham's owners. "Avram was advised not to take the job by several people in football but he wanted the challenge," the 'source' said. "He feels almost from the moment he took over the situation was virtually impossible. One example is that he was concerned about the lack of a strong midfield-enforcer type when he arrived so he wanted to sign Marc Wilson, who was a player for him at Portsmouth. "Wilson wanted to sign for Avram and Portsmouth would have sold him for £3million but the owners would not go beyond £2.5million and so he ended up joining Stoke [City]. "Another example is Yakubu [Ayegbeni, the Everton striker]. West Ham were willing to pay £6million for him - David Moyes [Everton's manager] wanted £10million so the deal could not happen, but Avram was not allowed to spend [that] money on other signings, which he could not understand. "He regrets not checking out the club properly to find out the true situation about the budget. His vision was for the club was to be a mini-Arsenal, developing their own players and style. He knew it would be difficult in the first season, fighting relegation at the same time. But if he knew then what he knows now he probably would not have accepted the job." Chris Hughton is currently the favourite with Sky Bet at 11/8 to replace Grant, with Allardyce, Martin O'Neill (both 7/1), Alex McLeish, Dave Jones (both 8/1), Malky Mackay and Neil Warnock (both 10/1) also well backed.