HOW long do love-ins last in football? A year? A month? Maybe only until the next defeat?

Or, in the case of Darren Moore and West Bromwich Albion, only until a 1-1 home draw with bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town.

The Baggies, relegated from the Premier League last season but now in the thick of the promotion race for a quick return – they are lying fourth – decided that Moore, raised from caretaker to full-time boss following a spirited battle against the drop, is not the man to lead them back to where they think they belong after all.

The owner, Chinese billionaire Guochian Lai and his staff, believe a new manager would provide a major lift over the last 10 games so they set their sights on Serbian Slavisa Jokanovic, clearly a competent manager and loved for his brand of football at Craven Cottage but one who was sacked by Fulham when they found themselves languishing in the Premier League relegation zone.

It’s a tough old world in the Championship as the two clubs who accompanied Albion on the drop – Swansea City (15th) ad Stoke City (16th) – will testify.

And with Norwich City, Leeds United and Sheffield United above them, things are not going to get any easier.

Despite a slump in form of no home league wins since Boxing Day, Albion are in a good place under Moore’s management. To prove the point, here’s is a little statistic that almost passed me by (I know I don’t lay great store by stats, but this is an exception): Darren Moore had a better win percentage than 15 of the previous Albion managers. He won 53 per cent of his games – the best rate since Ossie Ardiles 26 years ago.

Right now, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is top of the love-in list for the revival he has inspired at Old Trafford and he is followed closely by Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp.

Mauricio Pochettino was on that list after a superb European Cup win in Germany. Four day later Spurs lose at Southampton and suddenly he talks of arrogance and complacency among his team. Not exactly love all round.

Less than two weeks ago Celtic fans were full of admiration – maybe not exactly love – for Brendan Rodgers. Now many of them are denying they ever had any such feelings.

Rodgers, meanwhile, has moved on to find a new love in Leicester City and Jamie Vardy – the perfect pair, according to one opinion.

How long will it last for Solksjaer, Klopp, Pochettino and Rodgers? Maybe we should ask Darren Moore.

* CASH dominated many of the weekend headlines. Stories of $800million bungs to secure the World Cup in Qatar, investigations into dodgy dealings in the transfer marker and breaches of Fair Play Rules took over.

Then there were pitch invasions and even more rows over VAR, but if football needed a gentle nudge back into reality then the place to find it was in Blackpool.

Fans who had not set foot inside Bloomfield Road for years flocked back in their thousands to see a middle of the table League One match against Southend United. They were there not to mark a famous cup win or a league title. They were just there to celebrate.

After years of boycotting their club in protest against the owners they returned to polish the seats, clean up the rubbish, cut the grass and add a coat of paint where it was needed.

The result – a 2-2 draw – hardly mattered. Blackpool fans had their club back.

Those of us old enough to remember one of Wembley’s greatest Cup finals will now be hoping the other team on that day in 1953, Bolton Wanderers, can get through the current crisis threatening their future.

And it is not going to take any bungs or dodgy deals to make it happen. Just the loyalty of supporters can do the trick.

* THE wise men in the TV studio – probably better known as John Inverdale’s Brains Trust – had the future of rugby union’s Six Nations Championship on their agenda as they waited for the action to get under way at Murrayfield.

High on the agenda for discussion was the possibility of introducing a system of promotion and relegation?

It all added up to an easily de-coded message: How do we get rid of Italy?

Jeremy Guscott, former pin-up boy among England’s centres had one idea: Let’s simply go back to Five Nations.

After a string of 21 defeats in a row, it is fairly obvious that the Italians are rubbish at rugby and have collected more wooden spoons than any of their famous pizza bars will ever need. At the weekend they suffered a 57-14 drubbing by England and are destined to finish last again this year. That makes it 15 times in 19 attempts.

More than reason enough to say a fond arrivederci to the Azzurri in the nicest possible way, you might think.

And to see them replaced by whom? Georgia seems to be the Brains Trust’s favourites to step up.

But suppose for a moment it was Scotland, or France – or even Wales – who finished bottom (and it did happen to all three in those four years that it wasn’t Italy’s turn to prop up the rest), would the idea of relegation be seen through different coloured specs?

The Six Nations is a roaring success. Games are played in front of packed stadiums, TV companies pay vast sums to get in on the act, and many of the players are household names and regular guests on TV quiz shows. Maybe not in Italy, but would it be any different in the country chosen to replace them?

Italy may be the whipping boys of the Six Nations, but it would not be the same without them.