Carl Fletcher and Michael Jolley are not two of football’s household names so there were unlikely to be any mass protests, fan rebellions or fly past messages at the news of their sackings.

If you will excuse a quick return to last week’s column outlining the pressure on Premier League bosses Unai Emery, Manuel Pellegrini and Ralph Hasenhuttl and even Steve Bruce, there was the warning that the threat of potential hardship was even greater down at the other end of the chain.

Since then, the pre-Christmas sack race has begun.

Fletcher lasted just 29 days as manager of League Two Leyton Orient and he became the fifth manager outside the top division to leave his job since the start of the month.

Jolley, boss of Grimsby, became the sixth after a ten-month stint and they followed hot on the heels of Carlisle parting company with Steve Pressley, Paul Tisdale (MK Dons) Nathan Jones (Stoke) and Neil Warnock, who we are led to believe left Cardiff by mutual consent.

Among the 21 bosses who have cleared their desks this season, Watford are the only Premier League club to dump their manager – Javi Gracia fell victim on September 7 – but for the other 20 that include Fletcher and Jolley, there would be no Jose Mourinho-style multi-million pound pay-out to soften the blow.

Instead, they will scour the job ads for a quick return to the game because it is in their blood.

Why else would a 70-year-old who has had 16 jobs in football management decide that he is not quite ready for retirement? You would have to ask Neil Warnock.

Life at the wrong end of the management ladder doesn’t come much tougher than the one experienced by former Everton striker Paul Wilkinson.

He took up his new job in July 2019 and by the time the season started he no longer had a club to manage – his employers Bury had been expelled from the Football League.

Eight of the 21 were not out of work for long – for the rest it could be a long bleak winter.

*Rugby League fans who suffered through the miseries of Great Britain’s four-match tour all have their own views on what is wrong with the game, especially after the calamity of the 28-10 defeat by Papua New Guinea.

It is time to come clean and forget all the excuses about injuries, hot weather and poor preparation – the tour was a complete shambles from the moment it became nothing more than a trial run for future England matches.

So, how about these explanations for the failure to win even a single game:

· A lack of imagination and skill

· Players are becoming robotic; too many followers, not enough leaders

· Players follow blindly, even when they are badly led.

However, this not a view of Super League today. They are a summary of the state of the Premiership in rugby union and they are from a man who has taken England to a World Cup final.

Eddie Jones doesn’t pull his punches with his analysis of the 15-man code – he does have a new book to sell – but perhaps he could put his head together with fellow Australian Wayne Bennett and come up with the answer. That would be doing both branches of the sport a big favour.

*If ever there was any further proof needed that the gap between the haves and have nots in football, the evidence was pain for all to see over the weekend.

On the day that Macclesfield Town threatened to extend their strike and pull out of their League Two game with Mansfield for the perfectly good reason that they had not been paid, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard announced that his millionaire players would be fined £20,000 if they are late for training and £500 a minute if they are late for a team meeting.

One player at one club can be fined more than it takes to keep another club in business. If that isn’t the mad world of football finance what is?

After the collapse of Bury, the crisis at Bolton and now the state of play at Macclesfield, maybe it would be a good idea to collect the fines and help out players in distress rather than pumping it back into the coffers of an already rich club.

It is reported that 53 of the 72 (now 71) League clubs are losing money and there are endless stories of owners failing to pass the fit-for-purpose test and even the idea that the EFL themselves are failing to stick to the rules of ownership.