At Raiders' Canberra headquarters, not long after 4pm on Tuesday, some of the heaviest hitters in Canberra business and industry passed a motion on the toughest decision in the club's 32-season history.
After an hour of robust discussion, voices wavered with emotion before board members took a moment to compose themselves. The decision to sack coach David Furner was unanimous.
This was just the first step. There is promise of more big decisions to come. The biggest, of course, will be who replaces Furner, the first coach sacked in Raiders history. For although potential candidates will line up like ballot-card bearers on voting day, the Raiders board made this momentous decision without a replacement ready. It was a sticking point in the board's discussion, as was tarnishing the legend of the man at the centre of their debate.
By sacking Furner, they were harming the legacy of a man who had bled green like no other. The son of the inaugural coach. A ballboy. A 200-game player. A premiership winner. A coach of five seasons, with another year to run on his contract.
But on Tuesday morning, after three consecutive losses, the Raiders board of nine members spread word by phone. An urgent meeting was required at 3.30pm. All attended bar one, who was included via conference call.
The board has publicly insisted the decision to sack Furner was solely its, based more on poor results and failure to reach the expectations required of the young and talented roster. It was the publicly stated position, partly because the board does not want players thinking they hold the balance of power at the club.
But be assured, board members were also informed with feedback from disgruntled players and their managers.
The board weighed up that information against endorsements of Furner's coaching credentials, including the support of veteran Kangaroos coach and three-time Raiders premiership winner Tim Sheens. Not everyone's mind was made up at the start of the meeting, but everyone was agreed by the end. Furner would be sacked, immediately, and the rest of his contract paid to him.
The Raiders have denied it, but last year they approached Ricky Stuart to coach. In the end, the Raiders couldn't reach Stuart's asking price nor the football department funds he wanted.
Furner coached the Raiders at a cut price by NRL levels. It's suggested his contract was less than $300,000. The Raiders will not be able to cut corners if they are to find a coach capable of achieving the success they desire.
They have made one of the biggest calls in the club's history, now they must follow through.