Swindon's board were left to rue manager Paolo Di Canio's resignation on Monday night and pledged to try and sort out their affairs in order to achieve promotion to the npower Championship.
Town head to Tranmere on Tuesday under the care of Fabrizio Piccareta, knowing a win would put them top of League One, a fact which makes the off-the-field happenings at the County Ground all the more unbelievable.
Di Canio has walked away owing to the takeover of the club by a consortium not being ratified by a deadline he had imposed of 5pm on Monday, with the Italian no longer able to handle the uncertainty he felt was undermining their season. The club statement read: "The board are disappointed that Paolo Di Canio has made the decision to resign at such a critical time for Swindon Town Football Club."
The statement went on: "We are also disappointed that the sale of the club has yet to be approved, but we hope the outstanding issues with the Football League will be resolved within a short period of time.
"It is worth noting that Matt Ritchie was sold due to the tremendous financial pressure the club is facing and in order to continue operating whilst the sale of the club went through.
"We understand the prospective new owners had reached agreement with Paolo Di Canio on bringing in loan players to strengthen the squad for a final push for the Championship.
"Until the situation has been resolved, Fabrizio Piccareta will be in temporary charge of the team as we travel to Tranmere Rovers tomorrow, where a win would see Swindon become leaders of League One.
"The board shares the fans' tremendous frustration at the events of the last few weeks and is determined to resolve these issues to ensure the best outcome for the club."
The aforementioned sale of Ritchie to Bournemouth was the straw that broke the camel's back for Di Canio, a 44-year-old who has never shied away from drama.
Town have been the subject of a takeover bid for some time and Di Canio, who claimed to have first tendered his resignation last Tuesday, had pledged to stay if the deal was ratified on Tuesday. No transaction was confirmed, though, and the former West Ham striker issued a statement through his agent, Phil Spencer, confirming he had quit.