QPR crying out for stability
Queens Park Rangers long ago became a watchword for instability - and although the news that Paul Hart has left the club after just five games in charge might feel wearyingly depressing it hardly rates as surprising.
Hart lasted 28 days and is the sixth full-time manager to depart Loftus Road since Flavio Briatore moved in at the club in August 2007.
The Italian quickly dismissed John Gregory, while Luigi De Canio, Iain Dowie, Paulo Sousa and Jim Magilton have also come and gone. And then there is Mick Harford, Gareth Ainsworth and Steve Gallen, who have had temporary spells in charge.
Of the managers appointed since Briatore arrived, fellow Italian De Canio has lasted the longest, managing 35 games at the helm before leaving for personal reasons.
Hart started the season in charge of Premier League Portsmouth
I was at Vicarage Road in December when Akos Buzsaky went walkabout in his kit after the dressing room-row that led to Magilton's suspension and eventual departure.
It was a surreal sight and only added to the sense that QPR have become a footballing soap opera that promises guaranteed drama but lacks some of the ingredients essential to a successful club.
Arguably, none of Briatore's appointments have lasted long enough to mould and shape the squad they inherited. Furthermore, although time is a precious commodity for any manager, a good chairman must appreciate that a modicum of patience is required while a boss imprints his footballing philosophy at a club.
It is often said that the most important relationship at any club is between the chairman and manager. I wonder whether Briatore has enjoyed a closeness or mutual respect with any of the ones he has employed?
What we have at Rangers is a crippling lack of continuity. Briatore ought to be a chairman craving a long-term managerial appointment, or as a starting point, someone who remains in charge for an entire season.
As an Italian, Briatore should know that Rome wasn't built in a day - and a successful QPR won't be either.
Of course, much is made of the revolving door since Briatore arrived at the club but the predilection to install a new man in the dugout can be traced back before his arrival.
Ian Holloway had almost five years in charge but his dismissal in February 2006 was the point at which the ceaseless cycle of arrival and departure started.
Gianni Paladini was in charge when Holloway left - and the Italian appointed both Gary Waddock and Gregory prior to Briatore's arrival.
Paladini is now the sporting director at Rangers in addition to his role as chairman of the football club (Briatore being chairman of the holding company that owns QPR).
He is responsible, in part, for the club's scouting network as well as the buying and selling of players. But the exact specifications of his role are difficult to define.
The same can be said of Briatore, the former Renault Formula 1 team boss who recently had his lifetime ban from motorsport overturned.
There have been rumours of Briatore interfering with team selection and moving significantly outside the boundaries of what defines a typical owner/chairman. Perhaps he should manage the team himself for a while to fully understand the size of the task.
Hart arrived on a six-month contract shortly after his dismissal from Portsmouth, citing his desire to return to work and intention to steady the ship.
A 2-1 home win over Bristol City in his second game in charge was to be his only victory. Rangers ended that match with six defenders on the pitch, with Gary Borrowdale on the left of midfield and Matthew Connolly sitting in front of the back four.
The defensive tactics did not sit well with the supporters, who appreciate attractive, attacking football - and Rangers were booed from the field after that match.
Hart never really had the chance to win over the fans, who have been subjected to significant season-ticket price increases since Briatore took over and could be forgiven for expecting a brand and level of football commensurate with their annual outlay.
Nonetheless, the fact that Hart has opted to quit after such a short period in charge hints at something beyond the fact that he wasn't popular with some of the club's support.
There have been reports that a bust-up with Adel Taarabt contributed to his premature departure, while it has also been suggested that he wanted to sell several players and bring in new faces but that his idea was given short shrift.
Obviously, something at Rangers so disturbed Hart, who tried to stick it out at Portsmouth despite all the problems at Fratton Park, that he felt compelled to quit, with his assistant Harford taking temporary charge.
Briatore now has the depressingly familiar task of appointing a new manager - and Steve Coppell and Alan Curbishley are two names that are certain to be mentioned.
Rangers are 10th in the Championship table and four points shy of a play-off place. There is clearly still everything to play for in a season that could yet end up with promotion.
But nothing is straightforward at Rangers and with 22 league games left I wonder what twists and turns are left in another season of uncertainty at Loftus Road.