Birmingham City’s search for a second manager inside a year is set to be far more fraught than the last time.
When Alex McLeish quit for Aston Villa on June 12, 2011, Blues moved swiftly to bring in new manager Chris Hughton.
It took them 10 days to identify candidates and then plump for Hughton, who impressed Peter Pannu.
As Hughton and his backroom team prepare to take up the reins at Norwich City, Pannu is back on the hunt again.
But 12 months down the line it won’t be as easy.
Hughton took the job knowing star players would have to be sold following Blues’ Premier League relegation, and that finances were tight.
Blues got through the campaign as a going concern and with a competitive team that just fell short in the Championship play-off semi-finals.
This summer the financial situation surrounding Carson Yeung and parent company Birmingham International Holdings has got worse.
And Blues remain under a Football League transfer embargo due to BIHL’s inability to publish accounts for the year ending June, 2011.
It is highly unlikely Blues will be able to pay any significant compensation to prise a manager out of a contract.
So the field will be narrowed down and any candidate approached will undoubtedly have a long, hard think about what they could be getting into.
Hughton had already been told that it was again a case of Bosman free transfers and loans this summer.
He stated that Blues needed to add to their squad, not take away from it.
At the end of the month Stephen Carr and Colin Doyle become free agents when their contracts expire.
And Blues’ five loanees, and two players on short-term deals – Cian Hughton and Caleb Folan – have already left.
Norwich agreed to pay compensation for Hughton and his assistants, and Pannu said he wanted to talk to the Canaries about the job.
So it’s one heck of an opening for someone, notwithstanding the uncertainty over the future intentions of Yeung and BIHL.
Yeung’s empire is crumbling.