It has become an all too familiar Christmas tale at the Liberty.

Relegation looming for a side that has looked passive and uninspired, and a managerial vacancy ahead of a potentially pivotal festive fixture.

Of course, a mid-season change has paid dividends for Swansea before. Francesco Guidolin and Paul Clement himself both arrived seemingly with mountains to climb to avoid the drop.

Both guided Swansea to safety, before imminently losing their way the following campaign.

And yet you suspect, should The Swans be beaten at home to Crystal Palace this Saturday, whoever is tasked with pulling off the now annual rescue mission in South Wales faces an even more daunting assignment than his predecessors.

Clement’s sacking should come as no surprise. He has clearly failed to inspire his side when needed this season, and despite much trialling and tinkering, appeared a long way off from knowing his favoured starting XI or formation.

With the financial implications of top flight relegation, time waits for no man in the modern game.

The loss of Fernando Llorente and in particular, Gylfi Sigurdsson in the summer, were significant blows. A failure to replace the latter in particular, even more so.

And whilst the 45-year-old should not shoulder total blame for the club’s muddled recruitment policy, he seemingly pulled off a glorious coup in the summer when he secured the services of Renato Sanches on loan from Bayern Munich.

Portugal’s brightest young talent was built up as the player who would provide the sparkle that Sigurdsson had saved his side with the previous campaign. Instead, his displays have been synonymous with Swansea’s season – a lack of creativity, accuracy, and confidence.

Sadly for Clement, his sacking is now easy meat for the lazy journalists of the football world, all too eager to state that great assistants are not the same when in the hot seat themselves.

But last season he came in and made a previously shambolic side organised, regimented, and difficult to beat – and it yielded results and a great escape. In that short space of time, he showcased a capability that may yet see him succeed at a high level. His time may come again.

And if it does, he will hope it’s at a club that has not driven itself into an on and off field mess.

To delve into Swansea’s intricate problems now would require a day of typing, but the truth is, a club recently seen as the ideal model on how to prosper without losing its identity now appears shambolic.

The already infamous takeover deal remains a murky mystery to many, the rift between the club’s Trust Group and hierarchy is forever deepening, and the humble philosophy and clear direction that led many to hail the ‘Swansea way’ is almost non-existent.

Of course, before all this is addressed, comes a huge game on Saturday. To put Leon Britton in temporary charge is a shrewd short term move. If nothing else – the supporters will loudly get behind the legendary club figure, and ramp up an atmosphere that has been dwindling ever since the early Premiership years.

 As it did when Garry Monk came in days before the 3-0 Premier League win over Cardiff back in February 2014, it is a move that should galvanise the players into, if nothing else, 90 minutes of passion.

But moving forward, short term galvanisation is not enough for Swansea.

Whether it be through Huw Jenkins or those around him, the running of the club needs to be clear and concise again.

If not, the fate that lies ahead could end up considerably worse than top flight relegation.