Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy decided too much was at risk to continue with Jose Mourinho in charge - fearing that as many as 10 first-team players could demand transfers over the summer, after becoming so disillusioned by the boss and his style of management.
The prospect of three of those players leaving brought the most fear: Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Gareth Bale. Levy put together his dream team at White Hart Lane for this season and has been devastated not to see it work out.
Some figures around the club have been surprised the decision to part ways with Mourinho did not come sooner, but feel it was the yearning for his masterplan to work out that forced him to stick with it longer than he usually would.
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Keeping Mourinho at a cost of losing his three favourite players would have been too heavy and now the focus will turn to ensuring the side’s biggest stars stick around with fresh motivation for 2021/22.
Talks with the squad will take place this week and when some normality returns to football next term - and stadiums are full again - Levy wants fans to enjoy watching an exciting side full of players they adore.
Keeping Kane happy is an absolute must and whoever gets the job as Mourinho’s successor will be in line with convincing the England captain he can achieve all his ambitions at White Hart Lane.

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Spurs are adamant the player is not for sale and that no price-tag has ever been quoted privately or to an interested party. A £150 million valuation might seem about right to outsiders looking in, yet to Spurs he is invaluable. They could never replace him.
If this move to remove Mourinho goes to plan and the new boss - say Julian Nagelsmann or Brendan Rodgers - could bring brighter days, Kane will probably even sign a new contract this year. That’s in line with the focus of the club far more than cashing in.
Of course, Kane could try to force a move but that will only happen if he knows there is a guaranteed big move on the table and at the moment that is not the case.
The situation of Gareth Bale will be interesting now, too. Mourinho was never bothered about the idea of bringing him back but told Levy he would accept him into the group if that was the club’s plan. He has never truly embraced him, even when Bale has shown signs of being the player we all know he can be.
During the last international break, Bale seemed to kill any hope of him staying beyond this season. "I think the main reason I came to Spurs this year was to play football first and foremost,” he said.
"Going into the Euros I wanted to be match-fit. The original plan was to do a season at Spurs and after the Euros still have a year left at Real Madrid. My plan is to go back, that’s as far as I have planned."

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It is not as simple as that though, as Madrid do not have any plans for Bale to become part of their squad again. Sources say Bale had little choice but to give that line when asked, as that is how his situation is at this present time.
The reality is that could yet change. Sources have told Eurosport that Tottenham have first option to sign Bale in the summer and could do so on the same terms as this year. They have always planned to wait until the summer before taking such a decision, but it will be a surprise if they do not explore that possibility - especially now Mourinho has gone.
Spurs fans still love Bale, and have not had the chance to see him in person since he returned. There is a huge opportunity in sporting and commercial terms to believe Bale’s time at Tottenham might run on a little longer.
That will be the case for Dele as well. The interest in him from Paris Saint-Germain has died down to the stage where they will probably not ask Levy about him again, after being knocked back in the past two transfer windows.
Levy rejected the advances of PSG because he always hoped Dele could work his way back into the club's plans. He also knew that if Mourinho was not around, the next boss would most likely embrace such a player.
A clean slate will be exactly what the player needs now and he will most likely have a big role to play again almost immediately.
Mourinho’s exit also gives hope to Harry Winks, who thought he was going to have to find a new club but will be buoyed by the chance to win his place back in the side.
It has been a very strange season at Spurs but the club's stars suddenly have a new outlook. At the weekend they have a cup final, then they have a late push for the top four, then Levy has a new manager to appoint and a squad to reinvigorate.
Mourinho’s reign was far from special but his exit means Levy’s hopes and dreams for this Tottenham team can live on.
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