Nottingham Forest announced on Saturday night that they have parted company with manager Philippe Montanier as he lasted just seven months in charge.
Fawaz Al-Hasawi is in full control of the club once again after a proposed takeover to a US consortium was officially called off on Friday night much to the displeasure of Forest supporters.
An inevitable outcome
It was common knowledge throughout the club that once the takeover saga had been resolved one way or the other, Montanier was likely to lose his job.
John Jay Moores was believed to have spoken to Gary Rowett in regards to the job for when he had completed the takeover of the club. Al-Hasawi had also spoken to his representatives stating that he would have personally sacked Montanier months ago had he been able to. This made it inevitable that once the takeover issue had been resolved either way, he was likely to lose his job.
Forest have put in a host of poor performances since he has been in charge of the club. The Reds kept just their second clean sheet of the season at St Andrew's Stadium on Saturday. This has resulted in Forest having one of the worst defensive records in the division.
Hands tied behind his back
Despite the poor performances and results from the team this season, many supporters have expressed their sympathy for the Frenchman claiming he couldn't have done much more.
He has stayed dignified throughout his time at The City Ground, always speaking to the media and answering the most difficult questions. He was arguably doing a very good job before Al-Hasawi decided to sell young star Oliver Burke without his approval. Forest were flying in August before this sale and fans had reason for optimism.
It would not have been easy for any manager to deal with the off-the-field issues which Montanier has had to deal with this season. The lack of communication between him and Al-Hasawi made it difficult for him to make the quality of signing he would have wanted. There has also been no Chief Executive, Director of Football or scouting network set-up for the large majority of Montanier's time at the club meaning he has been working mainly on his own.
The issues off the pitch are clearly going to effect the performances of the players aswell. The players certainly put in a shift for the Frenchman at Birmingham on Saturday afternoon in what proved to be his last game in charge. The injuries sustained throughout the squad this season have also been a key factor in Forest's form. Montanier can count himself unlucky and was possibly just the right man at the wrong time.
What next for Forest?
It is now a race against time for Al-Hasawi to appoint the next manager at Forest with the transfer window running out. He will have to make both a quick and good appointment if Forest are to avoid a drop to League 1. However, it is unlikely that any appointment will be able to get the fans back on his side.
Gary Rowett was and still is a strong favourite with the bookies to take charge at Forest. However, a representative of Rowett quickly came out and stated he was not interested in working under Al-Hasawi after the takeover fell through on Friday night. Whether Al-Hasawi could potentially persuade him to change his mind is something we will find out in the coming days.
Other names linked to the role include Nigel Clough, Kenny Jackett, Alan Pardew, Roy Hodgson, Nigel Pearson, Billy Davies, Steve Cotterill and more.
Rowett is still clearly the preferred option amongst Forest supporters but whoever it is who takes the role will face a huge challenge not only to keep the club in the division but also to work successfully with Fawaz Al-Hasawi.