Barnes gamble was doomed from the start
John Barnes and Tranmere Rovers always had the look of an unlikely union - and news of his dimissal is hardly a major shock.
The former England international came into the job after a spell as coach of the Jamaica national team and had no experience of League One football.
His only previous job as a manager in club football came at Scottish giants Celtic - and 3,469 days separated his last match in charge there and his first meaningful fixture at Prenton Park.
At Tranmere he inherited a club that had lost several key players from the previous season but which had a lack of available finance to replace them.
It was always asking a lot of Barnes and his assistant Jason McAteer - the Digger and Trigger show - to deliver on what following their high-profile arrival was always going to be unrealistic expectations.
John Barnes lasted 11 league games as manager of Tranmere Rovers
I spoke to Barnes before the season started and I must admit that I was impressed with his unwavering belief in his footballing principle. It's just that I wasn't convinced they would work at a League One club without any money.
He talked of the time he was spending on the training ground, instilling into his players the way he wanted them to play. The argument seemed to be that the level at which you play your football is irrelevant - what matters is how you work with your players.
"My whole philosophy is that it does not matter whether you have the best players or not, as long as you empower them in an organised manner then you can be consistent and competitive - and that is all I am asking," Barnes told me.
When I asked what he knew about the opposing teams in the division he answered that he was concentrating on his group of players, not anyone else's.
Make no mistake, Barnes is an intelligent and engaging man but it seems to me that if you are managing a League One club with a modest budget but high expectations, you need to do absolutely everything possible to give yourself an advantage over your rivals. I would have thought studying the form/personnel/tactics of your rivals would fall under this category.
Barnes came into management in League One and tried to impose his beliefs on the division. I admire him for trying but his team are 22nd in the division with two wins in 11 games. Barnes played some unusual formations, 4-2-2-2 isn't often seen in League One, and his teams leaked far too many goals (26 in 11 league games). The fans also turned against him.
In a way I don't blame Barnes for Tranmere's current predicament. I think that ultimate responsibility lies at the door of chairman Peter Johnson.
It is the chairman who dispensed with Ronnie Moore at the end of last season.
Moore is in many ways everything Barnes is not. He is a gritty, earthy character with an expert knowledge of lower division players and clubs.
Last season he took Tranmere to within minutes of the League One play-offs. Rovers led 1-0 at Scunthorpe on the final day of the season. A late goal from Iron skipper Cliff Byrne meant that Scunthorpe and not Rovers clinched the final play-off spot.
It was a heartbreaking end to the season and Moore deserved better for his efforts.
Moore has just returned to his former club Rotherham and taken charge of a side in an automatic promotion spot in League Two. He could be forgiven musing how it really is a funny old game.
No such laughs for Barnes.
The 45-year-old had been trying to return to club management for several years and in a way you can applaud Johnson for giving him an opportunity. But Barnes has a high media profile and you could also see it as a vanity appointment that was doomed from the moment it started.
Barnes conducted a series of promotional interviews on Thursday for an anti-smoking campaign he is fronting. The former Liverpool winger sounded confident that he could guide Rovers out of trouble and up the table. But his latest attempt to succeed in management has been stubbed out.
He also said that the fact his name is John Barnes counts for nothing. It would seem that Johnson has also arrived at that conclusion.