Dave Jones’ job at Sheffield Wednesday is hanging by the proverbial thread amid ominous noises from his hitherto highly supportive chairman.
Anyone viewing Wednesday’s results in the light of Milan Mandaric’s reputation will be surprised that Jones remains.
Which I’d guess is near enough all of us.
Managers have been sacked for a lot less and certainly by this club owner.
But it would be a mistake to think Mandaric has lost the plot. Or his interest in the club.
His saving of it, his feeling for it and his fierce desire to protect his £20m plus investment (which Jones will know better than most following a round of crisis talks) all suggest that supporters can and, should, trust him as before.
Ideally, Jones will rally the team and quickly.
Money is tight and he is on contract until the summer of 2015, making compensation or gardening leave unsavoury options after recent borrowing to fund signings.
But that doesn’t mean Mandaric, who has now taken out £3m plus in loans, won’t act.
His accessing of quicker money than was readily available from his assets in America and Europe is a sure sign of change, even if only earmarked for transfers.
Chairmen as wily as Mandaric don’t give “a small chance” to a manager – as Mandaric has been quoted – without considering the alternatives. You’d be naive not to think he has been doing that for a while.
But there doesn’t seem to be an obvious one out there.
Jones will know it’s a long way back for a manager in his predicament.
But hopefully results will turn under him, starting in what could be a last-chance game at Blackpool on Saturday, and fans will stay behind chairman, manager and team in these rocky times.