A week, as they say, is a long time in football. By that reckoning, six weeks is almost an eternity. For fans of one of English football's oldest clubs, it certainly feels that way.
On Boxing Day 2012, former European champions Nottingham Forest lined up to play Leeds United in a second flight match in the English Championship.
After going a goal behind, Forest roared back to an emphatic 4-2 victory that had a certain swagger about it. Watching at the time, it was hard to escape the feeling that things were finally coming together for a side that has come to embody the term 'sleeping giant'.
One point and one place outside the playoffs, that afternoon Forest fans would have tucked into their turkey sandwiches with a sense of satisfaction and thoughts of good things to come.
But just hours after the final whistle the club's Kuwaiti owners, the Al Hasawi family, fired the club's quietly progressive manager, Sean O'Driscoll.
For fans and observers alike it was a baffling decision. "We cannot speak highly enough of Sean as a man," said Chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi. "He was appointed at an extremely difficult time for the club and can count himself unlucky to have lost his job with the team just one point away from the top six. But we have a responsibility to look to the future for this great Club because we have huge ambitions for it."
Fast forward just a few weeks, and O'Driscoll's replacement, Alex McLeish, has followed his predecessor to the exit. January had also seen the sudden and unceremonious exits of Forest's CEO, its head of recruitment, and the popular club ambassador (and former player and manager) Frank Clark.
McLeish departed 'by mutual consent' after just one win in seven games and a transfer window that bordered on farcical, as key target George Boyd's switch to the club foundered after the player apparently failed an eye test.
Forest fans took to social media once more in a bewildered daze as headlines painted a picture of a shambolic club in disarray. Days later another former Forest manager, the combative Billy Davies, was reinstalled in this hottest of managerial hot seats.
But before he could properly take charge his team duly lost 2-0 to a Bristol City side now, somewhat poetically, managed by none other than Sean O'Driscoll.
This odd story will have particular resonance in England's north west, where another of English football's most venerable institutions, Blackburn Rovers, has collapsed from mid table comfort in the English Premier League (EPL) to relegation and ignominy.
The club's owners, India's Venky's Group, began their tenure by sacking the widely respected Sam Allardyce in December 2010. Since then they appear to have embarked on a kamikaze PR strategy, which has led to ridicule off the pitch and confusion on it.
In the latest chapter, Shebby Singh, the former TV pundit brought in by Venky's as the club's 'global advisor', is reportedly at loggerheads with managing director Derek Shaw, amid allegations of interference with football matters and disputes over players' contractual deals.
The culture clash between the old and the new sides of the club looks wider than ever. Rovers are now onto their third manager of the season and a swift return to the EPL looks wildly improbable.
Venky's and the Al-Hasawi family are the latest in a wave of foreign owners taking control of clubs in the English leagues. Few on the growing list are strangers to controversy.
Cardiff City's new Malaysian owners changed the club's colors from blue to red, causing outrage -- but perhaps they will be forgiven as they are currently well set for promotion to the EPL.
The Glazer family's takeover of Manchester United sparked a supporter's revolt that saw the formation of a completely new team -- FC United of Manchester -- by fans alarmed at the level of debt (currently around £360million - $550m) foisted upon the club.
Then there's Roman Abramovich's Chelsea, whose phenomenal success has been tempered by the owner's propensity to fire managers; and Sheikh Mansour of Manchester City, whose investments in the club stretch UEFA's concept of Financial Fair Play to the limit, and very probably beyond.
The attitude of football fans to these types of investor is pretty schizophrenic. On the one hand the very prospect of a new owner, awash with cash, coming in and transforming a club's fortunes would get many salivating, regardless of where the money is from and who is taking the reins.
English football, or at least the Premier League, is an enormously attractive stage and clubs make for interesting playthings for the super-rich. Meanwhile, fans are attracted to the idea of quick-fix success.
On the other hand, with spiraling ticket prices driven largely by players' wages and the increasingly erratic pictures being painted by some of these new owners, there is a sense that clubs' connections with the communities in which many have existed for over a century are being undermined.