It was the worst kept secret in the football and the news all United fans had been dreading.
Pep Guardiola- the most sought-after coach in world football- is Manchester City bound next season and United must act or risk being left behind.
No sooner had City confirmed that Guardiola would be in their dugout next season that the hyperbolic defeatism began in earnest- it was time to shut up shop, add sky blue ribbons to every piece of silverware and wave the white flag.
Guardiola's track record suggests he won't fall flat on his face at City so the challenge looks far greater now than it did five years ago considering our decline since.
With the prospect of our three biggest rivals having a world class coach in tow next season- with Klopp at Liverpool and almost certainly a manager of serious pedigree at Chelsea- the gamble of promoting Ryan Giggs to succeed Van Gaal now appears bigger than ever.
But yet there's a certain inevitability about it.
Fans don't look like they are going to get what the majority of us wish that firing Van Gaal might be the answer and that appointing Jose Mourinho will even up the fight.
City have sent out the ultimate statement of intent with Guardiola and we need to bite the bullet and do likewise- or risk turning into Liverpool (shudder!)
The club's backing of Van Gaal is both admirable and foolhardy but the hierarchy have to realise that we are not moving forward under the Dutchman and getting Jose is the only way to keep pace with the Blues of both Manchester and London.
For whatever reason, the club don't seem keen on the Portuguese and if he is under consideration to take over, any such decision would have been made by now.
Having thrown £250m at attempting to revive the Reds flagging fortunes in the last two seasons without any profit from the massive outlay, it leaves the bigwigs at Old Trafford facing an upsurge in pressure.
Guardiola fashioned a Barca team that mesmerised newly crowned champions United in 2011, that left a stunned Sir Alex to say:
"In my time as manager it's the best team I've faced and finding a way of catching them is not going to beasy.
"It's a challenge but you should never be afraid of a challenge.
That challenge is now slap bang on the Reds doorstep and the Reds cannot afford to be so meek in their response to the Guardiola gauntlet this time around.