John Sheridan’s departure from Chesterfield FC was formally announced on Tuesday morning - but at the Rotherham home game on Saturday, all the talk was that his time was up.
Apart from the JP Trophy triumph last season, which culminated in a 2-0 victory over Swindon at Wembley, last season was a dreadful one for the Spireites.
After going up from League Two as champions, Sheridan’s troops came straight back down.
The board, however, remained loyal and the manager said he intended for Chesterfield to bounce straight back.
But a paltry accumulation of just two points from the first nine on offer sealed Sheridan’s fate as those in charge chose to act early.
Sheridan, 47, took control of the Spireites three years ago and narrowly missed out on a play-off place in his first season in charge, finishing in eighth spot.
But the former Republic of Ireland international, who cut his managerial teeth with Oldham Athletic, led Chesterfield to the League Two title in the 2010/11 season, their first at their new all-seater stadium.
However, he was unable to maintain that momentum in League One and last year was a constant struggle against relegation, which the club eventually lost.
There were high hopes before this season kicked off, following the signing of a host of new players, including Marc Richards, Port Vale’s top scorer and centre half Sam Hird, who gained Championship experience with Doncaster.
But a Capital One Cup defeat against Tranmere, an away defeat on the open day of the League Two at AFC Wimbledon and home draws with Rochdale and Rotherham shook those aspirations to the core.
The team did not look like it was beginning to gell and the man in the hot seat paid the price.
Sheridan was born in Stretford, Manchester, and was initially on the books of Manchester City.
In a playing career that stretched to more than 600 games, he turned out in midfield for Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham, Bolton, Doncaster and Oldham.
His personal highlight came in 1991 when he hit the winner as Wednesday defeated Manchester United 1-0 in the final of the League Cup.
Sheridan’s record as boss of Chesterfield reads: played - 160; won 63, drawn - 38, lost - 59.
Assistant manager Tommy Wright and coach Mark Crossley will take charge of the team for this weekend’s tough clash at Gillingham.