Text size

Avram Grant, the Israeli boss of Premier League football club Portsmouth, woke on Friday to find his name plastered across the British tabloid press after The Sun newspaper claimed to have photographed him leaving a brothel.

The 54-year old coach, who previously managed Chelsea and the Israel national team, was snapped leaving the Thai Siam sauna outside London in December ? but a court injunction had prevented the newspaper from revealing his name, The Sun said.

Grant's wife, Tzofit, defended her husband in an interview.

"It's not a brothel but a massage parlor," The Sun quoted her as saying ? although a woman inside the venue had offered a reporter sexual services in return for payment, the paper said.

"Considering the pressure that Avram is under at Portsmouth, I'm angry with him for not going every day to have a massage. Avram loves a massage."

Speaking by telephone from Tel Aviv, she added:

"It's his own business what he does with his body, and he certainly has not damaged our marriage. He doesn't have to tell me everything. He doesn't tell me he went to the store to buy milk."

Grant had no plans to take legal action against the paper over the story, she said.

A video posted on The Sun's website on Friday purportedly shows Grant leaving the brothel, before getting into his chauffeur-driven car. According to the newspaper, Grant smiled ate journalists as he left ? but a few minutes later his driver returned, running back into the massage parlor to speak with the staff.