Hands in their pockets

Portsmouth players have clubbed together to help save the jobs of four members of the club’s training ground staff, according to Avram Grant. The club got rid of 85 members of staff after they were put into administration last month, but the players have apparently started taking money out of their wages to cover the cost of the groundsmen, a masseur, a kit man and one other, who we don't know about.

The players, me, the staff and everybody contributed, and I must say we were happy to do it,’ said the Pompey boss. ‘Most of these people were here before me and the players, and they will be here after. We need to keep them.

‘We have a kit man who works from the morning until the evening and takes care of 11 teams alone. He was with two assistants but they are not here now because of the situation. I look at him and I don't know what to say. I admire him. I admire these people because they are not in the spotlight but, without them, there is no team.

‘Even at Chelsea, where you have players coming and going, you cannot succeed without these people helping us. These people are very special and we live with them day by day. I'm very happy the players and staff did what they did. It means a lot to me personally because football is not just a cold business.’

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