Gannon's arrival was almost universally welcomed in summer and he enjoyed a good first few weeks, signing a number of players and overseeing a satisfactory European run. A strong start to the league campaign gave cause for further optimism but we have fallen away badly in the last couple of months and if the panic button is not yet being pressed, the safety casing is already removed in preparation.
Cynics will no doubt claim that the reasons given by the club are a smokescreen and the decision was results driven. It is unlikely this is true though - John Boyle gave both Billy Davies and Maurice Malpas months to turn things round before taking action and even Harri Kampman, a manager doomed from the start of the Boyle reign, could have few complaints about being bulleted.
There will of course be two sides to the story but from the club's point of view, the manager refusing to sign a contract can only be viewed as a shocking lack of commitment, even if it does raise the question of why we appointed him without completing this 'formality' in the first place. Working relations in the dressing room were clearly at a low and while the players and manager must not necessarily be friends, there has to be respect there. A collapse between the manager and board is arguably even harder to overcome - players can be replaced by the manager, he can't change the chairman - and without a great deal of trust here, it is hard to see how a club like ours can move forward.Rumour and counter-rumour will no doubt emerge in the coming weeks but we must focus on what happens on the park. It would seem unlikely Gordon Young, the manager for Wednesday, will be seriously considered for the post long-term but the usual suspects will surely throw their hat into the ring. After a bad experience with a maverick, perhaps John Boyle may this time prefer someone who is perceived as a safe pair of hands.