An empire is crumbling, dreams are turning into nightmares and the whole world is holding its breath waiting for Armageddon.

Actually, none of that is happening, but if you tuned in to some of the phone callers on Sunday night are perused many of the headlines over the weekend you would be excused for thinking that was the future we all faced.

And the man in the middle – and therefore responsible – for much of this gloom and doom is fallen hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, present manager of Manchester United and one-time goal scoring star of a European triumph.

While there is no disguising the fact that United are having it rough – and Sunday’s miserable effort up at Newcastle where they lost 1-0 confirmed just how far down the pecking order one of the world’s richest clubs has fallen – this is not the time for yet more of the angst that follows the club around.

In the six years since Sir Alex Ferguson left the manager’s seat, Solskjaer represents the fifth attempt to fill unfillable shoes following such highly respected names as David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Ryan Giggs (caretaker for four games) and the ‘Special One,’ Jose Mourinho.

The former fans’ favourite was brought in as caretaker and won 15 of his first 19 games, more than enough to earn him the job on a permanent basis.

Since then, the word ‘permanent’ has come to mean something not quite so lasting and calls for the Norwegian’s head are increasing match by match.

Solskjaer doesn’t rant and rave (maybe he should), but he did remind us that ‘we are not living in the nineties.’

Other clubs have moved on since the Fergie era and United have been left behind. That is hardly Ole’s fault and bringing in yet another manager and saddling him with a squad who are either past their best or just not good enough.

Solskjaer may not be the answer to all the problems at Old Trafford, but that could well be because nobody is asking the right questions.

Such as: Do United’s owners want to be leaders in the world of commerce and finance – or a success on the football pitch?

The rebuilding work that has been handed to the manager takes a bit more than six months. Wasn’t even the greatest manager of all time given rather longer than that to build his empire?

*One of them was known as the Dark Destroyer. The other was The Warrior and the Real Deal. That was in the days when boxers’ names and faces were familiar even to those with nothing more than a passing interest in the Noble Art.

Both men are now in their mid-fifties and retired yonks ago. Both are former world champions at different weights and even in the crazy world of multi-titles it cannot get any better. Yet even that is not enough.

It is 23 years since Nigel Benn’s fight. Real Deal Evander Holyfield will be 57 this month.

Yet both these legends of the past are planning to get back inside the ropes and give it another go.

It was no surprise that the British Boxing Board of Control refused to licence Dark Destroyer Benn’s return to the to fight a 40-year-old called Sakio Baki so it was left to the infant body The British and Irish Boxing Authority (formed in 2016) to sanction the contest between two men who should know better.

Neither has anything to prove and the sport certainly does not need the sort of publicity such a bout scheduled to be staged in Birmingham will bring.

We realise that boxing is littered with champions whose names will be forgotten before they have time to sign their next contract but if it is reduced to bringing men nearing pensionable age then it is in an even worse state than many of us believe.

*They paraded them in their shiny coloured kits complete with sponsors’ logos. That was after they had held a first draft to share out the top players and big money earners.

This resulted in dyed in the wool Yorkshiremen Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow being snapped up by teams called Trent Rockets and Welsh Fire, while Leeds-based Northern Superchargers have managed to snap up Ben Stokes.

These were the first steps along the road in the launch of yet other brand of cricket to be known as The Hundred.

If the title doesn’t mean anything to you it says it all: Each team faces a hundred balls and the side scoring the most runs wins.

Devilishly simple, isn’t it, especially if you are into fancy dress parties and think cricket is in such a state that it needs yet another version added to the current crop of Test, County, 50-overs-a-side, and T20 Blasts.