Chris Hughton lost his job because of his answers when he was quizzed by Delia Smith and two other Norwich directors immediately after the home defeat by West Brom.
Delia and her husband, Michael Wynn Jones, were with chief executive David McNally. The three of them had backed the manager all season in the face of growing discontent among supporters.
After Saturday’s defeat, when that discontent turned to despair and then exploded into open anger, Delia and Co needed to gauge whether Hughton could and would re-energise a team running on empty for next Saturday’s showdown at Fulham.
Only four people know what was said at that fraught meeting but it certainly ended with the three Norwich power-brokers undecided about which of two gambles to take: stick or twist?
Next came an obligation to attend a grim charade: the away fans’ party. Chairman Alan Bowkett had gone home immediately after the game, but the rest of the board duly appeared at the world’s most funereal “party”. So did Hughton, his management team and every member of the first team squad who had been at the ground for the game.
Hughton was dignified and kept his emotions buttoned up, as always. He talked to every supporter who wanted to speak with him. Some of them must have been among those chanting for his sacking earlier. But there were no confrontations. All the exchanges were polite. Decent folk behaved decently.
Only a dark hurt deep in his eyes betrayed the bleakness Hughton was feeling. Only private, whispered conversations revealed Delia’s mood. She was in pieces, but with practised sincerity, she produced smile after smile as countless fans asked her to be in their “selfies”.
When I wrote about how the Roeder family felt as the Norwich family turned on Glen, many supporters felt that was treachery on my part. It wasn’t meant to be. It was meant to be a portrait of events which I watched from a privileged position.
So this time let’s agree, please, that Hughton and Delia are honourable people, and that they were hurting on Saturday, like all of us.
At some stage that evening, Delia, Michael and McNally weighed up Hughton’s replies in their meeting. They concluded that not enough would change for the vital Fulham game unless the manager changed.
Hughton was told the following day, the world was told a few hours later and his replacement, Neil Adams, was produced at yesterday’s Press Conference.
I wouldn’t have sacked Hughton. But the opinion of every single one of those who lost patience with him months ago is as valid. And I wasn’t in that meeting with the three directors.
I concede, without quibble, that my support of our manager had become a minority view.
There were still quite a few who did share my perspective; who remained convinced about Hughton’s strengths and qualities. I know, because as perhaps the most visible and strident “inner”, I attracted comments from like-minded souls.
But there were far more uncomplimentary remarks from those who wanted a new man to lead the team we all care about and the mood had definitely become blacker and blacker.
I understand that. I don’t enjoy making two trips to Manchester in a week to see my team concede 11 goals without a whimper of a reply, nor relish the long drive to Swansea or a trip to Southampton to see City swatted aside so easily.
You all know, however, that I could argue my corner, insist how Saturday’s performance and result made a nonsense of 4-4-2 with Wes and so-on, assert that it is daft to think Hughton wouldn’t play to RVW’s strengths (has he got any?) … etc, etc.
I’m not a booer. Never have been. Never will be.
I am friendly with all three of the people who met with Hughton on Saturday night. I have a long association, going back to my days as sports editor of the (London) Evening Standard, with Hughton himself. I know some of his family.
I make no apologies for any of that, nor for stating my position unequivocally on this site and elsewhere in recent months.
But I lost the argument.
And I reject the view, espoused by too many of my Fleet Street contemporaries, that Norwich fans who pay to watch their team are not entitled to express exasperation and, eventually, anger in a season which promised so much more and has delivered so many crushing experiences.
I disagreed with how some of the disappointment was expressed and with some of the appraisals of how and why City played as they did, and how they should play.
But I lost the argument.
And all that matters to me now is what matters to you all: that Norwich stop losing.
Neil Adams will have one huge advantage, which might just outweigh his inexperience. The Yellow Army will unite behind Neil – and that gives him a chance. Because when we march together, we are freaking awesome.
This season is not over yet.