In a move that will still come as something of a surprise to those of us used to the last twenty-odd years of Boardroom management at the Valley, Phil Parkinson was sacked this morning in what was his first meeting with the clubs new owners.
There will be many who think this harsh treatment with our side still in the play-off places and there will be those who will now refuse to trust Slater and Jimenez following the placatory and supportive words from them on Friday.
I will declare now that I am not one of them. I am still "cautiously optimisic" but I am excited about the decisiveness of this morning's announcement and, frankly, by the way it's been managed. The fact that Breacker and Kinsella have also gone speaks volumes. It looks very much like the new Board is working to a plan and I suspect we won't have long to wait for the new management team to be revealed. Jimenez and Slater needed full focus and commitment at Colchester and against Swindon, and giving mealy words of encouragement can be condoned in the circumstances. Let's face it, we all know that the vote of confidence is rarely that in football. Phil Parkinson is well paid and his contract will be honoured. That's the nature of his profession and he knew it when he took it on. Ditto Breacker and Kinsella, the latter of whom was probably lucky to have stayed at the club as long as he did (great player though he was).
We can pontificate over the dilemma about whether to give Parky funds in this window or move for a new Manager but I think that's largely irrelevant as the move this morning makes it clear that the former was never an option.
The message to the players and the rest of the staff is direct and unequivocal. The new Board means business and I suspect it also signals that there is solid financial backing. Murray simply couldn't afford to out his manager as well as his immediate team. Any new manager worth his salt will command a fee as well as wanting to know precisely what's available to spend.
The spectre of Dennis the Menace is obvious and a Millwall mate who visited me last night was adamant he's a genuine motivater and would be just what we need. I am trying to remain open-minded about him, although it's very difficult, but it really does look like they have already got their men, which supports the Wise theory or at least limits who was already available.
The one man who could probably cut the learning curve and be an instant commercial success remains out-of-work but is he willing to return to "go back" and could his ego handle the Third Division?