Well Paul Hart might as well look a bit glum because the poor bugger was sacked by Portsmouth FC yesterday to be replaced today by the grim reaper himself; old Avram ‘the undertaker’ Grant. Who’da thunk it? I did a posting recently forecasting who might be the first manager of the season to be sacked in the Premiership. It wasn’t hard to pick Hart as the likeliest given PFC’s position at the bottom of the league. But I suggested that Hull City’s manager, Tango man Phil Brown, might actually beat him to the sack and indeed 3 or 4 weeks ago he seemed on the verge of being handed his P45. But his team have rallied a bit and are edging away from the relegation zone. So the orange one survives whilst Hart is gone.
I feel a little sorry for the guy to be honest; he replaced the hapless Tony Adams last season and pulled off a minor miracle in keeping Portsmouth in the Premiership. This season he was rewarded by having all the key players sold off before the start of the season as the club went into financial meltdown. He was given 6s 4d to bring in some new players and put a team together in less than a week. It’s hardly surprising that their early season from was poor. But he’s gradually got the team believing in themselves and playing half decent football. This in spite of the club being sold on twice to increasingly shadowy arab businessmen, whilst player wages went unpaid and a transfer embargo imposed on the club for failure to repay outstanding transfer debts to other clubs. Oh and the Chief Executive is facing criminal proceedings for some alleged dodgy transfer dealings. Despite all the problems facing the club Hart even had to endure seeing the latest owner bring in the deadly assassin Grant in the much-needed role of Director of Football (or as we say up north – the next manager). I think most people might have thrown in the towel at that point but Hart just kept on focusing on the football and his reward was a knife between the shoulders.
I have a wish to see the whole club sink into oblivion for the way it has been managed. How they attract nearly 20,000 devoted fans every week I’ll never know. The club certainly doesn’t deserve the great fans it has. And Hart deserves another break.