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Portsmouth’s Paul Hart hanging by a Pompey Puppetmaster Avram Grant’s string.

October 8, 2009


Avram Grant has been named director of football at Fratton Park.  My apologies for twittering prematurely that Paul Hart had been sacked this morning- I watch sky sports with groggy eyes.

But I think the writing is on the wall and my guess is that recent financial insanity at Portsmouth probably has the funds needed to send Hart on his way tied up.  Although Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie says Grant’s directorship has no bearing on management,  I believe Grant has been brought on on as puppet master until the contract buy-out money can be sorted.

Former Israel manager Grant has been dubbed “the Undertaker” in the press as his Modus Operandi appears to involve filling freshly dug graves including that left by the Special One at Chelsea in 2007.  In this case, the Undertaker isn’t even waiting for the reaper to do his business.

Grant served as technical director at Fratton Park from 2006-2007 with Redknapp at the helm, so he is capable of working alongside managers although Harry Houdini was rumored to dislike Avi’s overshadowing presence.

Per Peter Storrie: “People can construe it how they like – the fact is he has been brought in as a director of football and that has been made abundantly clear. He will work with Paul and do exactly the same as what he did with Harry. He will be involved in the coaching. Paul selects the team but he is missing an experienced man alongside him at the moment.”

Alright, maybe there is no room for conspiracy theory here.  But it is rather interesting that Grant is brought in days after new ownership is announced at Portsmouth….especially amid rumors that Paul Hart was surely staring down the barrel of a sacker’s gun.

But Portsmouth did scrape a 1-0 victory over Wolves at the weekend, earning their first 3 pts of the season, so emotions were starting to turn in the stadium and boardroom.

Portsmouth currently sit bottom of the table.  1 win does not a good manager make. But for now, Grant will simply play puppeteer to figurehead Hart.

I’m not exactly sure how management contracts work.  If Hart leaves on his own accord there’s no pay out required, right?  Maybe the Undertaker has been brought in to make him uncomfortable.

What do you think?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2009 3:12 pm

    I don’t even have photoshop. That was done in MS Paint. Skills. Serious skills.

  2. George permalink
    October 8, 2009 3:17 pm

    I can relate to the groggy eye syndrome KP. I was reading hotmail news this morning and somehow came up with “Matt Lucas found dead”.

    I think Grant would do a good job at Pompey. He has everything Hart doesn’t have. Expertise, experience, respect.

    • October 8, 2009 3:21 pm

      I DVR the 2 AM Sky Sports- so that would be your 7 AM episode.
      It takes me a good hour to move in the morning so it’s tea with Wedderburn.

      I love Matt Lucas; he better not be dead! Vicky Pollard and Andy Pipkin are two of the greatest characters in the history of comedy.

      Do you know anything about management contracts? Curious to see how finances are tied to sackings….

      • maserati4200 permalink
        October 8, 2009 3:41 pm

        Top management contracts tend to be bespoke agreements, as with the top players. The smart ones build in conditions, caveats and “get outs” (on both sides) so in the end its hard to prove a breach. That’s why in most cases a compromise is reached, i.e a pay off or a transfer with out much fuss.

        The lower eschelons tend to use standard FA/League stuff which may be tweaked here and there.

      • October 8, 2009 4:31 pm

        Hmmm. And I’m sure both sides had legal crack teams.

        I would suggest that someone could argue breach when a position with such bearing on management seems to be created where it once didn’t exist, but I’m sure Pompey crossed their i’s and dotted their t’s as it appears appointing directors of football and upsetting managers is a favorite trick at Fratton park.

        I guess it wasn’t just Grant during the Redknapp years….

        If another supervisor were added to my management chain, I’d go postal. I feel you, Paul Hart.

  3. George permalink
    October 8, 2009 3:41 pm

    He’s not dead, don’t worry. He’s apparantly under suicide watch though. Eek!

    I’m not toooo knowledgeable, but I think if Hart asks to leave then they still have to give him money, as it’s part of his contract? I’m really not sure though.

  4. maserati4200 permalink
    October 8, 2009 4:38 pm

    Breaches of contract depend on the specific terms of each contract. Logic has no bearing on the matter.

  5. October 8, 2009 4:50 pm

    Clearly I absorbed and retained nothing in my Business Law class in University.
    Good thing I’m still paying back student loans. :-/

  6. October 9, 2009 2:01 am

    I think Paul Hart has the dis-advantage of not being a particularly high profile name in the grand scheme of things, and, as such would for definite be the Pompey fall guy, even more so now that Avram Grant has resurfaced.

    Just recently Kevin Keegan trousered two million quid from Newcastle United to spank on the horses at Haydock Park. Whilst the amount grabbed all the headlines, the story behind the scenes is worth analysis, apparently Dennis Wise signed a cack Uruguayan without KK knowing in order to keep a couple of South American agents sweet on the off chance of getting first dibs on any young starlets a bit later. Your Honour upheld KK’s constructive dismissal case.

    If Paul Hart is compelled to leave “by mutual consent” which everyone knows is rarely mutual, I hope he can take a huge wedge and resurrect his career. Better still, get a few results on the board, starting after the visit of Spurs on October 17th, to improve the old CV.

    I know Fratton Park is just about standing and the old 657 crew refused to sit still on the train there and back but Portsmouth won the FA Cup a couple of years ago so good luck to them and their occasionally naughty fans.

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