That Neil McCann’s turbulent time as Dundee manager has ended can’t come as a surprise after what’s been a disastrous start to the season.
And it’s fair to say his reign will go down as an experiment, however bold and well-thought out, that went horribly wrong.
When the former Dens favourite was appointed manager on a temporary basis following Paul Hartley’s sacking in April last year, a few eyebrows were raised.
Although McCann had the coaching qualifications required, the fact was, apart from a brief spell as first-team coach at Dunfermline when more often than not he couldn’t attend games, he had no managerial experience.
He was, of course, still very much in the football public’s eye via his work as Sky TV’s top Scottish football pundit.
And a very good job he did, talking eloquently and providing expert analysis of the satellite broadcaster’s coverage of the game north of the border.
As most managers will tell you, in football, theory and practice are two very different things. So it’s proved with the former Scotland star at Dens Park.
That he had very definite ideas on how the game should be played was clear, as was the fact he was unlikely to change them.
He demanded his team focused on a passing game all over the pitch, making it clear he’d accept responsibility if it meant risks taken in playing the ball out from the back at times led to goals being conceded. Inevitably it did.
In fairness to McCann, his arrival did bring about a speedy and necessary improvement and wins over Motherwell and Kilmarnock followed by a draw with Ross County were enough to save the team from relegation in the 2016/17 season.
Two defeats would follow before the end of the campaign and while they were largely irrelevant to a relieved support, they did perhaps suggest to the caretaker boss that, long-term, the changes he wanted to make were going to be too big an ask.
That led to a confusing summer that initially saw him announce he did not want the job, moves be made for then-St Mirren boss Jack Ross, before McCann had a change of mind and was appointed on a permanent basis.
Crucially, that saw time wasted in undertaking what was a clearly necessary rebuilding of the squad. That left him playing catch-up when it came to new signings.
It meant despite talk of better to come, with the exception of a brief spell around February, hopes of a top-six challenge gave way to another battle for survival.
It was achieved via three wins from the first four post-split fixtures but, even so, it was clear better was expected this season.
Another summer of signings this year gave some hope that would be the case but, although progression from the Betfred Cup group stage was secured, a home defeat at the hands of Championship Dunfermline and a lack of goals were worrying.
Performances in opening league games against St Mirren and Aberdeen were decent but both ended in defeat.
Then an inept and ill-disciplined display against Ayr in the last 16 of the Betfred Cup that saw three goals conceded and two red cards had the alarm bells ringing.
After that the defeats continued coming. There was brief respite via a solitary success at Hamilton last month but he departs having lost eight of his last nine fixtures.
If that was not bad enough, his time in charge saw stories of discord in the dressing-room and bust-ups with various players during his time in charge didn’t help.
Most notably was the argument that led to star goalie Scott Bain’s time at Dens coming to an abrupt end. Now McCann and assistant Graham Gartland have paid the price.