Indian Super League (ISL) franchise NorthEast United have been dealt a blow in their preparations as adviser Avram Grant has joined Greek side Panathinaikos, Goal has learnt.
The recent development comes barely a month after the club announced the former Ghana national team coach as its adviser, while Eelco Schattorie and Arthur Papas were appointed as head coach and assistant coach respectively.
"Avram is a very close friend and he is grown to be a very close friend [sic]," team owner John Abraham said in a video released on Monday on ISL's official channel, stressing that Grant was consulted before every recruitment, be it a player or a coach.
While the club was cognizant of the fact that Grant would have other commitments outside India, him taking up the top post at the Greek giants will significantly cut short his involvement, sources in the know of the development informed Goal.
That means the advisory role would be more of an honorary one, even though the management expects him to get more involved if things go south like previous seasons.
Both Schattorie and Papas have considerable experience of coaching in India and will have a healthy mix of young and experienced players at their disposal but the lack of Indian match winners can be a problem.
The outfit is the only one among the original eight franchises to have never made it to the ISL semi-finals and will start their campaign against FC Goa on 1st October.