Newcastle United's no show in Bordeaux could yet have a happy ending
The stage was set, Alan Pardew's name was neatly etched on to an official UEFA name placard and the French media had turned up in their droves to hear from the Newcastle United manager.
The only problem was that Pardew and his players were sat on the tarmac at Newcastle Airport with nothing else to do but admire the snowflakes.
It was typical of United's luck this season and another example of being kicked while they were down.
The delay means that Pardew's squad see their plans disrupted in terms of preparation for the clash with Bordeaux tomorrow night.
But at least there was some sympathy from his opposite number Francis Gillot, and at one stage almost a bit of encouragement as he suggested the banter generated on the NUFC plane might spur them on to a win.
Gillot will also give Newcastle a chance by fielding a near reserve team in the final Group D game of the Europa League.
After a bad start, what price this European adventure having a happy ending?