A combination of a miserable end to 2015/16 and growing supporter unrest increased speculation that Tony Pulis would be relieved of his West Bromwich Albion duties during the summer.
However, with pre-season training well underway, it doesn’t appear as though the Welshman is departing any time soon (although his last-minute split from Crystal Palace means it’s impossible to rule it out).
It’s a turn of events that’s sure to dampen optimism for the coming campaign amongst certain sections of fans and rumours about the players unloved Pulis will be signing is hardly likely to raise it.
Ciaran Clark of fierce foes Aston Villa is the latest name to be linked with a Hawthorns switch.
The Republic of Ireland international will cost a reported £5m to sign, fresh from marshalling one of the worst defences in Premier League history and finishing Euro 2016 as second choice to two Championship stoppers.
If West Brom complete the deal, Clark will have to compete with five other centre-backs in a densely-populated defensive department, though will more likely find himself deployed at left-back.
But sharing a position with an abnormally high number of his first-team partners won’t be the only common ground the 26-year-old will have with his new teammates.
Should Clark sign, he’ll be the fifth West Brom buy from a team to have been relegated the season before since the Baggies were last promoted to the top flight in 2009/10.
Boaz Myhill, Ben Foster (initially on loan), Liam Ridgewell, James Chester and James McClean were all signed having been demoted a few months earlier, with the latter name on the list arriving after Wigan Athletic had slipped as low as the third tier.
Their only summer addition so far, Matt Phillips, experienced Premier League relegation in 2014/15 with QPR and only one of the aforementioned bunch (Ridgewell) is no longer on the books.
Having ingratiated so many demoted players into the ranks, West Brom must rate as decent value for the drop this season at 9/4.