THE reaction was predictably mixed when the announcement came through that David Baldwin planned to end his brief stay as the EFL head.

Plenty praised the former City CEO for making the right decision to get out while he can.

Others used it as another opportunity to bash the governing body – an easy target during these most turbulent of times for domestic football.

Baldwin’s period in charge has been short and not very sweet. Officially installed in mid-June, although he had done a couple of days a week previously, and preparing to leave before the clocks have even gone back.

He will work a period of notice, believed to be up to six months, but it would be no surprise if an agreement is done between both parties before then.

With the news coming just hours before City’s home defeat to Harrogate was broadcast to the nation, the clamour to see Baldwin reinstalled at Valley Parade one day is understandable.

It is thought that he had been identified to replace Julian Rhodes before accepting the top job at the EFL.

But after his EFL experience, Baldwin will surely want a complete break from the game and some quality time with his family – and who can blame him?

Not withstanding the fact that there is likely to be a clause preventing him from taking another football job in the immediate future, the prospect of returning to the coal face will hardly appeal.

Not after the traumatic events that have stalked him since taking up the EFL’s offer in December.

The world – and football – is unrecognisable from the day he breezed the interview.

The far-reaching financial impact of the pandemic continues to shatter clubs and the football community. Survival is the name of the game for all but the elite few.

With each fresh crisis, it had become a no-win situation for the man at the top of the pile.

At least with the rigours of Premier League business at Burnley, there was always a game to look forward to at the end of the week. But there is no such respite in his current post.

For now, the task is simply restricting the number of losses as COVID continues to threaten at every level.

Baldwin has come along way since being unveiled by Mark Lawn as City’s marketing manager 13 years ago.

His background in all four divisions made him well suited for succeeding Shaun Harvey in a high-profile role with a large target on your back.

But he realised pretty quickly that the job he had taken was far removed from what he had signed up for.

Baldwin’s comments on his exit made it clear that he had come to the decision a while ago. Possibly by day two, judging how things have gone.

Certainly, his departure was in the offing well before Project Big Picture suddenly sprung on to the scene at the weekend.

The timing of the two looks convenient but Baldwin did delay going public until some of the dust had begun to settle on Rick Parry’s grand scheme to save the league.

It was in no way connected – but probably yet another good reason why slipping out the back door as soon as possible is by far the most sensible option.

Nobody doubts that something must be done to stop clubs going to the wall. There is a genuine fear of when rather than if for several in the lower league as the absence of any matchday income is allowed to drag on.

On the face of it, for those below the top flight anyway, the Parry plan has its merits.

EFL clubs would get the £250 million bail-out that the chairman has been demanding since May – with a further 25 per cent of all future TV deals.

The obvious power grab by Liverpool and Manchester United, the brains behind the project, will not sit well with the rest of the Premier League.

But for those further down the food chain, any top-flight civil war may seem inconsequential providing the money keeps coming.

Although the likes of Bolton have given a tentative nod in favour, City are yet to comment on the proposals.

A meeting of League Two clubs is understood to be taking place this afternoon when more details will be revealed.

Of course, it all may prove irrelevant because Parry’s plan is likely to be blown out the water by those who would be directly affected.

But it has at least put the discussion on the table; a starting point to work from as clubs plead for any kind of help.

Maybe a more positive financial reset between the haves and have nots could provide a happier end to Baldwin’s turbulent reign.