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Chainrai stands by Portsmouth boss Grant despite police investigation

Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai has assured Portsmouth boss Avram Grant he has his backing.

The Daily Mail says Grant has been told his job is secure by Portsmouth's new owner despite being embroiled in a police investigation into alleged prostitution.

Chainrai became the fourth man in control at Fratton Park in six months yesterday but immediately made it clear he is already on the lookout for owner No 5.

Until then, Grant remains the man charged with securing Portsmouth's Barclays Premier League survival. That decision comes despite Grant being named by a national newspaper as the manager who was photographed leaving a Thai massage parlour, suspected by police of being a brothel, last December.

As part of their investigation into the massage parlour close to Portsmouth's training ground, Grant could be questioned by vice squad officers as a witness if their inquiry results in anyone being charged with living off immoral earnings.

Grant, 54, is alleged to have admitted to reporters at the time that he knew the massage parlour, which has since shut down, was operating as a brothel but his TV presenter wife Tzofit has insisted her husband had not paid for sex.

The 45-year-old told Israeli sports newspaper 1One: "Avram is a private man and can do whatever he wants. Avram went in public, in the middle of the day, to have a Thai massage, not to a brothel.

"He went to have a massage in the official uniform of Ports-mouth. He came out happy and smiling and does not have anything to hide. I do not understand why people think they can invade our private lives.

"We are very famous people but we can do what we want in our free time.

"Avram can do whatever he wants and the only anger I have is that he does not go to have a Thai massage every day. If Avram wanted to go to a brothel, it is his right. He can do whatever he likes with his body."

Grant is understood to have already built up a good rapport with Chainrai prior to him assuming control. Chainrai's company Portpin, which he owns with business associate Levi Kushnir, has seized a 90 per cent stake in Portsmouth held by Ali Al Faraj's investment vehicle Falcondrone Ltd, after exercising a clause in their agreement over a £17million loan made to the Saudi.

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