Premier League – Chelsea sack Grant
Chelsea have sacked manager Avram Grant three days after losing the Champions League final to Manchester United on penalties.
The Israeli’s eight-month tenure was brought to an end after also finishing as runners-up to United in the Premier League and losing the Carling Cup final to Tottenham.
A club statement confirmed that Chelsea terminated Grant’s contract after two days of internal discussions, and thanked him for his contribution to the club.
Among those linked with the job have been Frank Rijkaard, who has left Barcelona, and Roberto Mancini, who has just coached Inter Milan to the Serie A title in Italy.
Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, whose future at Manchester City is uncertain, has also been mentioned in the past with a possible move to Stamford Bridge as has Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who is in charge of the Russia team.
Grant’s dismissal comes as no surprise, with club chairman Bruce Buck and chief executive Peter Kenyon both having expressed their dissatisfaction at Chelsea’s first trophyless season since 2003/04.
Despite taking the Premier League title race to the final day of the season, Grant was unable to conjure the attacking ‘fantasy’ football demanded by owner Roman Abramovich.
He also failed to win over the fans, lacking the charisma of Jose Mourinho, whom he replaced in September after the Portuguese’s relationship with the board broke down.
Grant’s supporters point out his record compares favourably with that of his predecessor, who never took Chelsea beyond the Champions League semi-finals.
The 53-year-old, a personal acquaintance of Abramovich, joined the club in July 2007 as director of football after performing a similar role for Portsmouth.