Reuters, Wednesday, November 25, 2009 9:30 AM
Last-place Portsmouth fired Paul Hart
, making him the first English Premier League managerial casualty of the 2009-10 season. Hart helped Pompey avoid
relegation after taking over on an interim basis last season and then signed a two-year contract. But Portsmouth lost its first seven games -- the worst start by a top-level English team in 79
years. Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant
, who was appointed director of soccer shortly after Saudi Arabian businessman Ali al
's takeover of the club, is the favorite to replace Hart, but he has yet to receive his work permit.
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