I'm not Abramovich's puppet: Grant | sports | Hindustan Times
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I'm not Abramovich's puppet: Grant

sports Updated: Sep 22, 2007 15:44 IST

AFP
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Avram Grant insists he is not Roman Abramovich's stooge and did not play a role in Jose Mourinho's dramatic departure from Chelsea.

Grant is convinced Abramovich will allow him to manage the London club without interference, even though Mourinho's exit was prompted by the Chelsea owner's overbearing influence.

The Israeli is a close friend of Abramovich and his arrival at Stamford Bridge in the close-season as director of football was perceived as the Russian's unsubtle bid to have more say in the team.

Abramovich had been at loggerheads with Mourinho since January but Grant says his own relationship with the billionaire was not the reason why he was given the job.

Grant, a former coach of the Israel national team, is adamant he did not stab Mourinho in the back to further his own career.

"It is not Roman's ambition to pick the team," Grant said. "I can tell you I will pick the team for good and for bad.

"Roman has many friends in football and he didn't appoint any of them. I think it is a normal relationship with Roman between two people who share something.

"If you knew me you would see I take all my decisions in football on my own. I have the blame if we lose, if we win I am part of the group that succeeds, so I take the decision on my own.

"As you know any owner can choose the coach. If I was not here and the owner called me in Thailand he can say come.