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Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009

Struggling Portsmouth fires Hart

PORTSMOUTH, England (AP) Paul Hart became the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season when he was fired by Portsmouth on Tuesday.

The 56-year-old Hart paid the price for the south coast club having been in last place since the start of the season.

He was fired after Sunday's 1-0 loss at Stoke and his departure immediately prompted speculation that former Chelsea manager Avram Grant, who has been Portsmouth's director of football since early October, might take over to attempt to save the club from relegation.

"Paul has worked under very difficult circumstances with the financial restrictions the club has faced since he took over," said Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie.

"However, the board feels that the team should have accrued more points to date and that we need a new man in charge to ensure Premier League survival."

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