Sheffield Wednesday, Darren Moore and a recklessly wasted opportunity - Alan Biggs
and live on Freeview channel 276
I suppose there is one tiny benefit from being on a break and suddenly having to completely rewrite a Sheffield Wednesday column drafted in advance.
It means I can react quite genuinely like everyone else - in total shock and bewilderment at Darren Moore’s sudden exit from Hillsborough.
Beyond that, an even more keenly felt sense of deep sadness. Sadness for the club and its fans. And, depending on the exact circumstances and what happens next, sadness for Moore also.
This is a man you can take at face value. His delight at winning promotion and excitement at what lay ahead was there for all to see.
Always, though, there is more than meets the eye with these statements. Was there agreement on the way ahead and resources to match? Likely not.
You start to consider little whispers from the past that may or may not have had a bearing.
Like the source who reckoned Moore had offers from elsewhere last summer and could have left but was persuaded to stay by backing for wholesale recruitment.
Like the strong feeling in advance of the recent sensational reversal of what seemed like a certain play-off semi-final defeat to Peterborough that the manager’s job was very much on the line.
I certainly gave some credence to that and felt Moore needed the minimum of a strong second leg performance to head off the threat.
Frankly, I can barely believe it. “Mutual consent“, make of that what you will. The key is who instigated those talks at a time when Moore’s planning was well advanced.
While the two men at the top of the club have shared a productive relationship - and the best between chairman and manager since Carlos Carvalhal (no surprise if he returns) - it has not been without its tensions.
There were rumours of a strongly critical dressing room visitation from above late last season. If true, that cannot have gone down well with manager and players.
Whatever, the worst thing about all this is that all the continuity and stability this club has lacked for so long, and seemed finally to be in place, has been lost.
It was all about the manager and players. As it should be. Not about club politics. Shouldn’t that suit everyone?
Time was already short on preparation for the Championship. Now Wednesday must pick up the threads with a new manager - as and when - plus a new coaching staff and recruitment set-up.
And I don’t care who the new man is, that will be tough. Maybe accompanied by a reconfiguration back to a head coach model with recruitment more detached.
Just when you thought the club was making sense, it appears to have been plunged into madness overnight. A madcap period awaits, however it turns out.
There may be unseen reasons but, as of this moment and from a distance, it is hard to see any sense in this for the future of Sheffield Wednesday. Only a recklessly wasted opportunity. Time will tell.