Barcelona were convinced the transfer ban that FIFA had put in place since last summer would be overturned once the Court of Arbitration for Sport returned their verdict.
So it must have hit them like a hammer when CAS decided to uphold the ban and thereby ensuring that the Catalans would not be able to sign any new players until January 2016.
Andoni Zubizarreta fell on his sword almost immediately.
It was obvious that Josep Maria Bartomeu would be looking for a scapegoat and "Zubi" was the obvious choice to be relieved of his position.
That Carles Puyol announced at the same time that he would be leaving his position because he had "seen the other side of the club," just added to the intrigue.
Such a turn for the worst may well have precipitated Bartomeu's decision to bring forward elections by a full year, even if it will likely lead to his removal as president.
With such a backdrop of uncertainty there couldn't possibly be a silver lining to the situation. Could there?
Bags of cash in 2016
One of the upsides to not being able to purchase any new staff both now and in the summer is that the Catalans will have quite possibly the biggest transfer war chest that any top European side has ever had in January.
Most top level transfer business is done during the July window. Look at Chelsea by way of example.
In the last 10 years their winter transfer spend in total is equivalent to just one summer's worth of purchases.
It's a pattern replicated elsewhere.
As long as Barca work well behind the scenes after the forthcoming elections, to tee up certain deals in advance, then there is no reason why they should be stung financially come January.
Lusi Enrique hasn't really grasped the idea of a settled side - yet.
25 different starting line ups in 25 successive matches doesn't speak of a manager fully in control of his own or his teams destiny.
In any event, and whether he stays in the post or is replaced after the elections, Barca have the possibility of maintaining a settled side from now through to January 2016.
No needing to integrate new faces into the mix, no upsetting of egos and no dropping of regular first-teamers to ease in a new signing.
All the club need to do now is begin to pull in the same direction.