Sunday's announcement of Maurizio Sarri's departure was the least surprising news of the season (despite the avalanche of earlier abuse, from his social media disciples, aimed at anyone who dare predict it).
It was, in the end, that best possible of outcomes: a no-fault divorce, allowing both parties to claim victory (and Chelsea to bank some Turin-based cash).
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But let there be no doubt: interest from Juventus or not, Chelsea had long passed the point where the club saw it as a viable option to progress any further with the Italian.
The clues, should they still be needed, were there as always in the accompanying club statement – delicately fashioned, in the usual way, with the agreement of both parties.
This was neither the with-regret-you're-fired pleasantness of the Andre Villas-Boas diktat (the owner, in particular, had been loathe to let him go); nor the scorched earth and-don't come-back of Antonio Conte's howler (bridges well and truly burned there).
But it was something in between.
It accepted the positive start to the season, the Europa League win, and the third-place finish. But it also pulled no punches when it came to the dreadful results which fell in between. Sarri's legacy will be a curious thing to assess in coming years.
Those achievements will never be removed from the record books – and rightly so.
But something not so plainly recorded, though better remembered by most who lived through it, will be the club's footballing regression; and the total, and painful, breakdown in the relationship between fans and boss.
The strange cult-ish constituency that will hear no wrong about him highlight a win rate of 62% - higher than the average over Carlo Ancelotti's two seasons.
But that figure is a poor comparator – given it includes a dozen wins in the Europa League campaign, largely against teams that might look more at home in the Championship. A better yardstick was the 55% win rate in the Premier League – the third equal poorest season over the course of Roman Abramovich's 16-year ownership.
Every previous boss who hit a figure that low was fired, regardless of where the team finished in the league.
Given the lifting of UEFA's sub-prime cup, the fan unrest, and the feeling of treading water for so much of the season – this felt less like an Ancelotti season, and more like the Rafael Benitez one.
The questions now swarm over who follows this act. With one-time favourite Massimiliano Allegri announcing a preference for a year out, that really leaves only one obvious candidate. It is impossible to over-state how much goodwill the announcement of Frank Lampard as Chelsea boss might create – but every ounce of it is needed.
He would be the first to admit he isn't the most experienced coach, but after a season like the last, it really is important that the next incumbent feels like a good fit. And literally nobody could be a better fit than Lampard.
Some will say it is a risk. Anyone who says it isn't should be mistrusted – as every managerial appointment is some sort of risk. And this is a bigger one than most.
But his legendary status will ensure he is given time by fans, and his media profile should keep some of Fleet Street's wolves from the door for a while too.
With a likely transfer ban, a big Eden Hazard-shaped hole, and questions circulating over the intentions of the owner – the right choice of boss will have both the toughest job, and the biggest permissible margin of error, of any Blues technical area occupant in years.
Should all the jigsaw pieces align – that's Petr Cech as technical director, Didier Drogba as backroom advisor, and Jody Morris as the man who made giants from the now-growing youth – success shouldn't need to be measured in terms of cups and points.
Chelsea needs to retrieve its soul.
And if the next coach in the top job can do that – then those win percentages, to a large extent, won't really matter. For a season, at least, until normality resumes once more.
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