Avram Grant jumped into the Premier League's deep end yesterday when he agreed to take over as manager of basement club Portsmouth.
His appointment had been on the cards since he moved into Fratton Park in October as the club's director of football.
Hart snubs new Portsmouth postBut he will not officially take over as the successor to the sacked Paul Hart, who yesterday confirmed he would not stay at the club in his former youth-team role, until the Home Office alters the job description to manager on his recently-issued work permit.
That will not prevent him working alongside coaching staff Paul Groves and Ian Woan for tomorrow's visit of Manchester United.
However, while that may appear to be a baptism of fire, with United smarting from their home Champions League defeat against Besikstas on Wednesday night , it is just a forerunner of the troubled weeks that lie ahead.
Battle: Portsmouth's Kevin-Prince Boateng (right) tries to win the ball from Stoke's Liam Lawrence
Shown the door: Paul Hart
In contrast to his days of working with Chelsea's multi-millionaires, Grant inherits from Hart a team of loan signing misfits and free transfers who have managed only seven points from 13 games and are odds-on relegation favourites.
Grant, 54, has been guaranteed that he will be able to move into the transfer market in the January transfer window should the Premier League lift its transfer ban imposed because of debts to other clubs and agents. And he will also be able to bring in an assistant.
There remain doubts, however, over the financial muscle of new owner Ali al Faraj. Only recently, the Saudi Arabian had to go to Hong Kong-based Portpin Ltd to borrow £10million to prevent administrators moving in.
With Portsmouth's latest ground improvement plan shelved and executive director Peter Storrie on bail on a charge of tax evasion, Grant could not be walking into a more chaotic post.
But Storrie said yesterday: 'The board believes he is the man to help steer the club out of the relegation zone. He knows the club, the players and the set-up , so it was logical to make him the manager .'
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