City, simply, have 9 games left to save its place in the Premier League for another year. Whichever way you look at it, Phil Brown hasn't strung together an equivalent run of form that would have been sufficient since our very first 9 games of last season. It's a long time since Marlon King's brace in front of the Keegan protests at Newcastle, Michael Turner's back-post headers against Everton and West Ham and Geovanni's stunning goals at Arsenal and Tottenham.
The decision was right. Adam Pearson described it today as "a gamble that had to be taken" - cutting our losses before the inevitable happened.
Pearson will have been confident that he could attract a better manager to the club, and various names mentioned in the press would certainly have been acceptable appointments. The likes of Alan Curbishley and Mark Hughes have solid records at this level. City must have been turned down by a number of Pearson's candidates before offering the job to Iain Dowie.
Dowie's history as a manager isn't particularly good, but it doesn't make Phil Brown's justification for being in the job any stronger. They have comparable records as Premier League managers - about 1 win in every 5 games.
A change of manager - whoever took over - might give the team a lift and bring fresh ideas. Or it might not. It has to be worth trying though.
We closed last season relying on other teams to do worse than us as we picked up just 2 points from our final 9 games. Did anybody have confidence that Phil Brown was going to take us on a run that wouldn't require us to hope Burnley and Wolves drop points each week?
All of Phil Brown's good work taking us up to the Premier League would be undone if he didn't hand the baton on to somebody else to keep us here.