Timing is everything in sport.

Had Barnsley come in for Jack Ross last month or even at the end of the season, you suspect the St Mirren manager may have been more inclined to make the move from Paisley to South Yorkshire.

The English Championship is one of the most watched leagues in the world. For average attendance, it ranks sixth, only just behind Italy’s Serie A and streets ahead of any other country’s second tier in 2017.

Barnsley are by no means the biggest fish in that particular league but have still managed to bank a reported £16.5million by selling five of their players in recent seasons, as well as picking up another £7m from a sell-on clause activated when defender John Stones made a big-money move from Everton to Manchester City.

It’s a club which, if you’re being cynical, can be seen as a stepping stone. If you perform well there, you can move on to much bigger things.

Of course, for Ross, there were also the financial benefits of a move to Oakwell to be considered, with speculation that he would have increased his wage a number of times over if he signed on the dotted line.

It could have been a great opportunity - but 'could' is the key word here.

A move to Barnsley would have been a risk, given the club's precarious position in the table.

They are currently sitting in the relegation zone, with no transfer window available for Ross to bring in the type of player he would like to recruit for the battle against the dreaded drop.

Perhaps he paused to think of the fate suffered by the likes of Alan Stubbs, who left Scottish football for Rotherham in 2016 and lasted just four months there, or Robbie Neilson at MK Dons or Neil Lennon's stint at Bolton.

Those experiences would suggest the lower tiers of English football are not the be-all-and-end-all for managers plying their trade north of the Border.

While most St Mirren fans can accept that Ross will go on to bigger and better things at some point, it will be a much less bitter pill to swallow if he leaves after securing their return to the Premiership.

His stock is at an all-time high and, with the second best win percentage as a Saints manager in the club's history, you imagine he won’t be short of offers in the summer.

Looking back to January last year, such talk would have seemed ludicrous.

Ross had just gone into crowd to talk to some disgruntled fans after St Mirren's 3-0 loss to Queen of the South. He had lost his first six games in charge and the Buddies were well adrift at the bottom of the table.

He likes to refer to his episode with the fans as a “discussion” but, when a manager does something like that after a heavy defeat, there is every chance it will end with him receiving his P45 a short time later.

Of course, things are much different now, with many Saints fans hammering the F5 button on their keyboards last night as they waited for an update on whether or not Ross would be staying or going.

It merely highlights the temperamental nature of many football fans.

The fickleness of the football world was never more apparent to me than back in 2016, when I was covering a Scottish Cup tie between Dumbarton and Junior outfit Bonnyrigg Rose.

There were calls for manager Stevie Aitken’s head from most quarters of the Sons support after that embarrassing loss.

Aitken, however, chose to stay and, weeks later, he had won the Manager of the Month award for December, after guiding his side to victories over Falkirk and Dundee United.

Come the summer and the Dumbarton fans were desperate to see him sign a new deal.

Will Saints supporters have the same attitude about Ross in a year’s time? Who knows? That’s the beauty of sport - we can’t be sure how things will pan out.

But I wonder if any of the fans involved in that dust-up after the Queens defeat will be emailing him this week to thank for staying in Paisley a little bit longer...