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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 21, 2007

Grant awaits new contract

Avram Grant is set to agree new terms with Chelsea following his permanent appointment as first-team coach at Stamford Bridge.

The 52-year-old was director of football at the club before taking over from Jose Mourinho this week, and the rapid developments have meant that a new contract has not yet been drawn up.

'We actually haven't agreed a contract with Avram yet,' said chairman Bruce Buck. 'Things have happened pretty quickly. That is something we will do in the days ahead.

'This is a permanent appointment but in football maybe that has a strange definition.'

Grant is a friend of owner Roman Abramovich but the club have insisted that had no bearing on him coming to the club earlier in the year or his appointment this week.

'Roman doesn't make important appointments on a whim or because someone is a friend,' said Buck. 'This is a thoughtful decision made on merit.

'It is evaluating a person's people-dealing qualities and football qualities.'

Of his relationship with the owner, Grant said: 'I think it is a normal relationship with Roman. It is a normal relationship between two people who share something.

'Roman has many friends in football and he didn't appoint any of them.'

Mourinho came to Stamford Bridge on the back of winning the Champions League, while Grant cannot boast the same European experience despite an impressive spell as Israel coach.

'Maybe six games in the Champions League is enough, maybe not,' Grant said.

The relationship between Mourinho and Abramovich was a consistent point of interest during the last three and a half years, particularly when players such as Michael Ballack and Andriy Shevchenko were brought to the club last season but made a limited impact.

'There has never been a point in time when we have bought a player without the full approval or knowledge of Jose,' said chief executive Peter Kenyon.

'We have never instructed him to play any player. Shevchenko was purchased on the back of a decision from the owner, the board and the manager.

'The reality is, was there discussion and disagreement? Yes. That is the normal process of deciding how we go forward.

'I'm sure those discussions will take part with Avram as they did with Jose.'

Chairman Buck could not confirm whether there was a clause in Mourinho's departure package stating he could not coach another Premier League club this season.

'The specific terms of the contract are confidential,' he said.

'There is nothing in the contract which I, as a corporate lawyer, would view as particularly unusual in the context of an executive of a company moving on.'

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