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Avram Resigns!

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Avram Grant has stepped down as Portsmouth manager in what he has branded one of the most "difficult decisions" of his career.

The Israeli boss, who guided financially-stricken Pompey to the FA Cup final this season, posted a personal letter to the fans on the club's website announcing his resignation.

Grant, who has spent one term in charge of the Fratton Park club, who were recently relegated from the Premier League, has been linked with the vacant managerial post at West Ham after Gianfranco Zola was sacked last week.

"This was one of the most difficult decisions I've had to take in my football career," Grant told Portsmouth's official website.


"After a lot of soul searching and under the circumstances I'm taking a different direction."

The statement continued: "It's been both a difficult and complex year for us at the club, but at the same time, it's been a wonderful and uplifting professional and personal experience.

"I have been inundated with letters and emails from fans. Many have brought tears to my eyes and take it from me; it takes a lot to do that. I will never forget you, the loyal fans of Pompey who, without a doubt, helped me protect the team under such complex circumstances.

"There are very few teams in the world that have fans as passionate and devoted as you are. Seeing you all so proud with your heads held up high is the best reward I can receive.

"It has been a great experience to be part of one of the most wonderful occurrences that has happened in the history of British football and also shows that even in the most desperate times, loyalty, devotion, professionalism and passion can be demonstrated. I wish you all the possible success which you genuinely deserve."

Grant succeeded Paul Hart as manager in November last year, and his time at the helm has been plagued by off-field problems as the club's financial trouble emerged.

Pompey went into administration in February and were deducted nine points by the Premier League the following month which virtually condemned them to relegation.

Grant still managed to lead Pompey to the FA Cup final at Wembley last weekend, where they were defeated 1-0 by his former side Chelsea following their shock semi-final win over Tottenham.


Grant's statement continued: "Portsmouth has given me a feeling of home away from home.

"I might be leaving Portsmouth physically, but you cannot take Portsmouth away from me and my heart.

"I have informed Andrew (Andronikou) the administrator that if and when the need arises, I will be at his disposal to assist in any way I possibly can.

"At this point I would like to mention the good job the administrator is doing, under very difficult circumstances after he received the club from Mr Chernoi and Mr Levy which they had saved from liquidation. Thank you for that.

"I can never fully repay the faith and backing I got from the fans, players and staff who gave 100 per cent. I truly thank you all for granting me the opportunity and the privilege to be part of your special city and unique club."


Wounded for Pompey. Manager of the season last year I thought.

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