Grant's Sacking No Surprise - Harris

Chelsea legend Ron 'Chopper' Harris insists that even if the Blues had won the Champions League, Avram Grant would not have continued as manager, but may have reverted to his role as director of football...
Grant's contract at the club was terminated this evening after two days of "intense discussion" in the Chelsea boardroom.

The Israeli had been in charge for just eight months and guided his side to within two points of the Premier League title and one penalty kick - missed by club captain John Terry - from winning the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

He took over from the highly successful and popular Jose Mourinho, proving to be his exact opposite, but one way or another, getting results and keeping Chelsea's title charge going strong. Though the immense squad depth at his disposal no doubt aided him in his quest, the incredible number of injuries that plagued the Blues during his time as boss often negated that almost entirely.

Despite waves of criticism for his lack of adventure of assertiveness - not to mention Carling and FA Cup losses to Tottenham Hotspur and Barnsley respectively - he eventually began winning fans over, and there was speculation he may have even stayed on at the club if they failed to win silverware.

However, as Chelsea legend Chopper Harris told Setanta Sports News, that was never likely to happen, and Harris also contended that the former Israel coach would have been relieved of his duties even if he had won the competition, but at least reverted to his role as director of football - which he was prior to Mourinho's dismissal - instead of being sacked outright.

Grant is a good and personal friend of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich - who is said to have been the man who wanted Mourinho dismissed above all - but Grant has always stressed that the two keep their business and personal relationships separate and it would remain that way, regardless of his future.

“I don’t think it’s that much of a surprise,” said Harris of the sacking. “There’s been speculation he’d be leaving even if they won on Wednesday.

“If they’d won he might have been asked to move upstairs and a new man might have come in.

“A few months ago they were in the running for four competitions but they’ve ended up with nothing. That’s the price you pay.”

Chet Winter,