Even the most fervent critic of the current regime might feel a little sympathy for Chesterfield, over the David Brooks saga.
Circumstances far beyond the club’s control and several layers of context have combined to bring about an unfortunate transfer situation.
In the wake of the Ched Evans deal and the apparent spirit of co-operation that existed between the Spireites and Sheffield United, Brooks was identified by Guy Branston as a player who should be targetted for a loan spell.
So a deal was spoken about at the top level at each club, agreed with the respective managers and Chesterfield signed off their half of the paperwork.
United boss Chris Wilder spoke to the Sheffield press about Brooks’ move to the Proact, but the Blades didn’t confirm the deal or sign off on it – they wanted to wait until the midfielder had returned from the Toulon Tournament.
What happened next scuppered the move.
Brooks played an absolute blinder, earned player of the tournament in France, Wilder decided he wanted to take a close look at the 19-year-old in pre-season and Everton started sniffing around.
Suddenly Chesterfield were stood in the middle of the dance floor without a partner, twiddling their thumbs and looking sheepish.
The context of a quiet spell on the transfer front didn’t help – it’s a fortnight since they brought in a new face, the natives are restless.
Had Brooks not played out of his skin in Toulon, would anyone have batted an eyelid?
Some have insisted Town should have got the deal wrapped up before Toulon.
But no one was going to force United to sign on the line, Wilder doesn’t appear to be a bloke who would take kindly to being told what to do when it comes to one of his players.
And there’s the rub – Brooks is a Blade, he’s their player, to do with as they please.
They were the big brother in the deal and acted accordingly.
Was it ideal that everyone knew about the loan before it was secured? No, it was unfortunate.
A series of unfortunate events, for Town anyway – it’s looking rosy for Brooks and his parent club.
He may turn out to be a star in the Championship, he might go to Everton and bring in some cash – it’s win-win for Wilder.
While there’s a slim chance Brooks may still come to the Proact, Chesterfield right now are the losers in the tale.
But on this occasion, they can’t reasonably be blamed.