We've been here before haven't we? Sunderland sacking their manager is an event which seems to come around with alarming regularity these days.
True, there aren't many fans who were behind Phil Parkinson before the axe fell following the 1-1 draw at Fleetwood.
Yes, the Black Cats were among the League One leaders, but had fallen off the pace somewhat with draws at Fleetwood and Doncaster following the home defeat to MK Dons.
Promotion is the be-all and end-all for Sunderland. It has to be.
With the new salary cap, the club are in a financial straightjacket that can only be broken - takeover or not - when they are back in the Championship.
Jack Ross failed to deliver and Parkinson will now not get the chance.
So as the club begin their search for a new manager, just what are they looking for.
Here are some of the key attributes the right candidate must have.
Appetite for goals
One of the big frustrations of recent seasons is that Sunderland frequently fail to put a game beyond doubt.
They often has the majority of possession and create several chances, but time after time, they have been pegged back when 1-0 up.
Charlie Wyke has shown this season that he can offer more goals than his record at Sunderland so far suggests, but the next manager must find a way of turning 1-1 draws into 2-0, 3-0 wins.
Taking their chances when on top is a must if they are to challenge for the automatic promotion spots.
Promotion track record
The promise of a takeover and the hope of an injection of cash into the club as many dreaming a return to the big time.
But Sunderland must walk before they can run, and with the salary cap in place, they have to get out of League One before anyone can start seriously investing in the team.
Parkinson had a good record of getting sides promoted, but it didn't pay off. However, that shouldn't put the Wearsiders off going for someone who has been there, done it and has the t-shirt.
Experience counts for a lot, especially if they can bring some attacking flair.
Operate on a tight budget
It's no use a new man coming in wanting to tear this squad apart and start again. The January transfer window will be another frugal one when it comes to spending, and unless they can shift some players from the wage bill, any new manager will be limited to what they can bring in.
Signing for Sunderland is still a big attraction for players at this level, but the new boss must be able to work on a shoestring budget - for now at least.
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Have a thick skin
If you think playing in empty grounds protects managers from criticism then think again. The era of social media means everyone has opinion, and are usually not afraid to share it.
In fact, now fans can't enjoy the atmosphere of the game, or see at close-hand just how the game flowed, you're far more likely to get extreme reactions.
No one enjoys paying £10 to iFollow to see their side lose to MK Dons. You can't even go for a pint afterwards.
If the wins don't come then the flak will follow (sometimes even if the wins do come).
Any Sunderland manager must be able to deal with this, and ensure it doesn't seep into his squad.
Ignore the takeover talk
Whoever is the in the hotseat must put all thoughts of the takeover out of their minds until it's done and dusted.
What could happen is of little importance - the only thing that should matter to a manager and his squad is winning the next game.
Football is full of examples of off-the-field uncertainty having a negative impact on the field, and that simply can't be allowed to happen.
Talking a good game is just that. It counts for little when it comes to matchdays.
But Sunderland have had their share of slightly dour characters in the dugout. Winning games will compensate for any lack of perceived charisma, but how good would it be to have some sparkle on the touchline?
Managers can't go out and meet fans right now, of course, but someone who really gets the support on Wearside and understands what makes the club tick, would be a breath of fresh air.