It was two days before the end of August 2013 and Steve Clarke was giving his press conference ahead of his next game as West Brom manager. He was asked if it would worry him if he couldn't bring in any new players before the transfer window shut.
His answer was cryptic. "If I was the manager, it would worry me enormously," he said. "But I am the head coach so it is not my job to bring players in. I understand the terms of my contract and I work with the players I am given."
The meaning was fairly simple. Don't blame me if we sign either nobody or a couple of donkeys. The word was it went down like a lead balloon in the boardroom, and when Clarke lost his job a month or two later, despite having delivered the best-ever Premier League finish the previous season, it was much to do with how his little dig at the powers-that-be had been perceived.
It is a tale worth telling as you read Gus Poyet's comments this morning about the recruitment policy at Sunderland. They echo Clarke's fateful press conference almost to the letter.
"I am a head coach," says the Uruguayan who kept the Black Cats in the Premier League last season against all the odds after taking over from the mad regime of Paolo Di Canio. "That side of it (signing players) is down to recruitment.
"So if you ever get the chance to speak to anyone on the recruitment side and ask them about it, you are lucky. If you don't, don't ask me."
Poyet is 21.020/1 on Betfair's Specials market for the next Premier League manager to leave his position, and if the West Brom story tells you anything it is that you need to pile on to those odds right now. He is clearly not a happy bunny and trying to work out how to keep his reputation intact.
Sunderland's recruitment is down to sporting director Lee Congerton, who took over in March to replace the previous regime run by Italian Roberto De Fanti. His first window included the £10million signing of Jack Rodwell whose performances so far have been spectacularly underwhelming. Of the other eight players he brought in, only Santiago Vergini has figured regularly.
Meanwhile the ones allowed to leave include Craig Gardner playing a solid role in West Brom's midfield, and even more ridiculously Jack Colback who has been Newcastle's shining star in midfield.
Poyet is not pulling any punches. "I want more quality," he says. "Do I think I'll get it? I don't know."
This is a dangerous game for him to be playing a few days before an away trip to St James' Park. Lose there (Newcastle are 2.111/10 favourites) and the pressure really will come on, and as a boss that's when you need the boardroom on your side.
If you've upset them all by digging out the transfer policy, then don't count on too much backing when the going gets tough. Just ask Steve Clarke.