Avram’s message to Appy

Pompey defend before their clash with Wycombe in 2013 is abandoned. Picture: Joe Pepler

An occasion to join match days of Pompey legend

Have your say

Avram Grant has urged Michael Appleton to keep on fighting after Pompey were rocked by another points deduction.

And the former Blues manager has called on his old club to find the spirit of 2010 as they again battle for their existence.

Football League chiefs have hit Pompey with a 10-point loss next season – along with a string of other sanctions.

The deduction is another body blow for Appleton, who has dealt with a never-ending string of problems since becoming manager last November.

The question now is: how much more can the 36-year-old take before he walks away?

Grant found himself in a similar position 28 months ago when Pompey became the first Premier League club to go into administration.

The Israeli became a hero and iconic figure among supporters as he came out fighting in adversity.

He has called on Appleton to do the same now.

Grant said: ‘I really can’t believe it. I feel so much pain for my club.

‘Every day there is some other piece of bad news for Portsmouth.

‘I was in this situation and I know it’s very difficult to work in circumstances like this.

‘The job of the manager is to do something on the pitch.

‘But everything depends on what is happening off the pitch.

‘It was hard for me. It was the first time it had happened for me in the Premier League, so no-one had any experience of it.

‘I decided to think hard about what to do – and we all decided to fight until the end.

‘We always found targets. One target was professional and another was for the fans, because they were with us.

‘I said to the supporters after Wolves at home: “They can try to break everything but they cannot break our spirit”.

‘Nobody lost their spirit. Now, it’s not going to be easy but no-one can give up. Portsmouth has fighting spirit.’

Administrator Trevor Birch has indicated he is ready to look into ways to get the points deduction imposed on Pompey overturned.

Grant believes the whole process when a club goes into administration needs a overhaul.

He said: ‘There is something wrong in the system because the owners never seem to get punished.

‘What happens is they punish the supporters.

‘It is the same now as when I was at the club.

‘The football authorities need to find a way to punish the people who did something wrong. Why always hurt the club?

‘It’s a wonderful football club with wonderful supporters. It’s a club which shows the English way better than any other.

‘It represents England better than Chelsea – better than any club.

‘I’m sad and angry to hear this again.

‘People need to wake up in England and find a way to punish those who have done something wrong.

‘They are doing everything they can to destroy the club and I cannot accept that.

‘We had a good team in 2010 but because of owners who didn’t do right by the club, we got punished. Now it’s happening again.’