The problem with labelling it kneejerk is the extensive evidence that it was not going to get any better.

In fact, I’m yet to see a St Johnstone fan who thinks Callum Davidson’s departure was not overdue, and rarely does anyone know better than those watching from the terraces every single week. His team have won only twice since December 17. They have scored only 12 goals in that time, and none in their last three matches. It is, without doubt, relegation form.

None of the above diminishes the quite incredible cup double Davidson managed to pull off in 2021. It was a truly astonishing achievement, the likes of which we might never see again in Scotland.

However, it matters not in the context of an alarming slide towards the Premiership drop zone that could have hugely damaging consequences. Last season, Davidson managed to steer Saints away from the precipice at the very last second, overcoming an Inverness Caley Thistle side running on fumes by the time the play-off final came about.

In 2022, though, there was not a prospective takeover in the works, raising the stakes considerably for all involved. It is understood that current owners the Brown family are in talks with an American investor, talks which could become very different if St Johnstone were to drop out of the top-flight.

The monetary implications are obvious. That being said, Saints are in rude financial health. Accounts published late last year revealed a profit of £1m and a turnover of £8m. And with £5m already sitting in the bank, there is plenty of cash in reserve for a rainy day.

But the question remains, would they be as attractive a prospect for potential buyers when playing in the second tier? Almost certainly not.

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There is no easy escape route from the Championship – just ask Dundee United. It took the Tannadice club four attempts to free themselves from its clutches, spending heavily in the process, and they could yet find themselves back there come the end of this season.

With all that and more to weigh up, it seems St Johnstone’s decision-makers concluded that sticking with a status quo which is no longer working presented greater risk than hitting reset with just six league games left to play. Davidson’s assistant Steven MacLean, along with Liam Craig, has been placed in interim charge, and unless the club already have someone lined up to come in permanently, the pair could well remain in the dugout for the remaining fixtures.

Perhaps Saints have been convinced by the bounce enjoyed by Motherwell and Aberdeen after managerial change of late. ‘Well have just about dragged themselves clear of the relegation mire since appointing Stuart Kettlewell, while the Dons under Barry Robson have mounted a late charge for Europa League football – a ridiculous notion when they were being battered 6-0 by Hibs not so long ago.

Whether it was to be stick or twist, either scenario is a gamble for Saints. But with the stakes raised by the potential change of ownership, you can understand why action has been taken. After Saturday’s defeat to Livingston, Davidson sounded very much like a man who knew his players were no longer on board with what he was trying to do. Indeed, the implication from chairman Steve Brown’s statement was that both men were in full agreement over what had to happen.

Perhaps a key factor in opting to bank on a bounce is that, to survive, Saints likely do not need a wholesale turnaround in the same vein as Aberdeen have managed. They remain four points clear of Dundee United and Kilmarnock – the latter have not tied two consecutive victories together all season, nor have they managed to win away from home even once.

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United appear to be building some momentum under Jim Goodwin, but Killie and Ross County are hardly threatening to motor up the table any time soon. Of course, relying on other teams to simply be worse than you maybe isn’t the best way to run your football operation, but the reality for Saints is they just have to do enough to keep their head above water over these next few weeks. Were they going to get that with Davidson still in-situ? The odds were beginning to slide a little too quickly in the wrong direction. Even a relatively modest upturn with an interim management team would probably be enough to avert disaster.

There was also a perception that he had already bumped his head against Perthshire club’s ceiling with the cup double. And while that triumph is unlikely to be repeated, it has been somewhat lost that they were consistently strong Premiership competitors under Tommy Wright.

The Northern Irishman not only won a trophy of his own with the Scottish Cup in 2014, he also took them to fourth place in the Premiership on three consecutive occasions. Better is not just possible, it is expected. The idea that Saints fans should be grateful with simply remaining in the division is an odd one when recent history demonstrates the club is capable of much more.

For almost two entire seasons, there was little evidence they would return to the league’s upper echelons with Davidson in charge, the numbers simply told a very different story. If anything, it is understandable loyalty to the most successful manager in their history which could be their undoing.