In an emotional letter issued to the club’s fans, Avram Grant has confirmed he is stepping down as manager of Portsmouth, after his seven-month tenure in charge.
Speaking on the club’s website, Grant spoke with a heavy heart about his decision to leave, but said it was time for him to move on.
"This was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to take in my football career," he said.
"After a lot of soul searching and under the circumstances I’m taking a different direction.
"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."
The news will come as a blow to Pompey fans, who had hoped the former Chelsea boss might stay in charge for next season.
Portsmouth are currently battling with debts of over £100 million and are expected to make large cuts to trim the wage bill this summer.
But despite the club’s difficulties this year, Grant led the team into the FA Cup Final, and although the south coast club ended up losing to Chelsea, Grant was proud to have been involved in the club’s season.
"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," Grant added.
"I wish you all the possible success which you genuinely deserve.
"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 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. Chainrai 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 a hundred 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."
Although Grant was unable to keep Pompey in the Premier League this term, the Israeli still has his suitors, and this news will only further speculation linking him with West Ham United.
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