Bobby Clark is sad to see the Derek McInnes era come to a swift end but he believes now the decision has been made to make a change it is imperative Aberdeen move quickly.
A summer of transformation lies ahead at Pittodrie with nine first team squad members out of contract and four loan players due to return to their clubs.
Decisions on who goes and who stays, and convincing those they are wanted, will likely fall at the feet of McInnes’ successor which is why former Dons goalkeeper Clark believes time is of the essence.
An appointment is not imminent but Clark hopes chairman Dave Cormack has someone in place before the end of the campaign.
He said: “I feel a wee bit sorry for Derek as I thought he would have got the rest of the season but In Dave’s mind he felt he gave Derek time but it hasn’t worked out.
“Dave is a thorough guy and he doesn’t strike me as a man who makes rash judgements.
“Third place is still within the team’s grasp and the Scottish Cup is still up for grabs but with nine players out of contract and four loans players due to return to their clubs someone has to be in place to make those decisions. Likewise, players need to decide who and what they are signing up for.
“The new manager or head coach will come into a similar scenario to what Derek inherited when Craig Brown joined the board in 2013.”
Stephen Glass, currently coaching at Atlanta United 2, has emerged as the frontrunner for the post.
His lack of management at the highest level would make his appointment a gamble if he does win the race to replace McInnes but Clark, who coached at college level at Notre Dame says the level of football in the United States should be respected.
He said: “Football in the United States is very professional, very well run. Atlanta United is a new club but they are typical of the set-up over there where there is a first team in the MLS and a second team in the league below.
“Atlanta United 2 play in the USL Championship. It’s a good league and a strong one where coaches are working with full-time professionals. It’s a very good level.
“I know it is a fairly alien concept in Scotland and we fall back on managers of the past and insist Sir Alex Ferguson, Bob Paisley and Jock Stein didn’t need a director of football.
“But just because they didn’t work in that system it doesn’t mean there is no value in it and that type of set-up is common for clubs in the MLS.”
Clark played in Aberdeen’s halcyon days and was part of the league championship winning side which ushered in the Ferguson era in 1980.
The title set the tone for a trophy-laden decade for the Dons and while proud to have played his part he believes it remains a period of the club’s history on which comparisons will always be made.
He said: “As a former goalkeeper I always used to have sympathy and would try to explain what had happened whenever a goalkeeper made a mistake and I guess as a former coach I look at management the same way these days.
“In many ways Derek did a solid job but Aberdeen is a tough club to manage. They have a good budget in the league but the gulf between their budget and the two clubs above them is huge which makes it very hard to punch above their weight.
“I played in the Fergie and Jim McLean era where managers and clubs had control over players in terms of their contracts and it is so much harder these days.
“The other element which you just cannot ignore is the manner in which television money has changed the game. Germany, Spain and the Premier League in England in particular, has fundamentally and permanently changed the climate.
“The success Fergie had in his time at Aberdeen, whether we want to admit to it or not, will always be the standard by which others are judged.”