You feel that those associated with Derby County will have got used to breathing sighs of relief in the past few months.
First, on the final day of the season, there was the relief of that dramatic 3-3 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday that saw Derby just avoid relegation from the Championship at the Owls’ expense.
Then, at the start of this month, even after the fixtures for the coming campaign, their was the news that the Rams had avoided a points deduction for last season over FFP breaches, that again could have sent them down to League One for the 2021/22 season had things played out differently.
Now, this week has brought what you imagine will be another palpable sigh of relief around Pride Park.
It was announced on Tuesday that the EFL will not consider the youth players used by Derby in their FA Cup defeat to Chorley last season, will not be considered of “professional standing” due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding that match, with the senior squad having been in self-isolation.
As a result of that decision, the Rams are no longer at the limit of the number of senior players they can have in their squad, and that could not have come soon enough.
With the season just weeks away, and with a threadbare squad owing to a number of departures earlier this summer, as well as the transfer embargoes brought about by their financial issues preventing them from signing players up until now, Derby badly need to start doing business quickly if they are to avoid a repeat of last season.
It has now been reported that the Rams will be allowed to sign five free agents at this moment in time, and given the clear need for players, that is something they simply have to do quickly.
Derby do have options available to them, with the likes of Phil Jagielka, Richard Stearman, Ravel Morrison, Sone Aluko, Sam Baldock, Ryan Allsop and Tom Carroll all training with Wayne Rooney’s side following their departure from their previous clubs last summer.
Curtis Davies and Andre Wisdom are also still training with the club after their contracts at Pride Park expired at the end of last season.
There is therefore, plenty for Derby to choose from as they look to add to their squad, but that may not be the case for long.
Free agents can be a valuable commodity at any time, but you feel that will be the case now more than ever, given the financial pressures clubs are under after over a season played almost exclusively behind closed doors.
As a result, it would not be a surprise if some of those currently training with Derby were to start attracting attention from clubs elsewhere as they look for opportunities to strengthen their squad for a reduced price.
Given the fact that Derby are apparently also limited in terms of the length of contract, and wages, they can offer, you feel it may be vital for them to get these deals agreed before another clubs who are not as restricted in terms of what they can put on the table, come in with an offer of their own for those players.
Indeed, with the season just a few weeks away, getting those deals done quickly could also be rather important, in terms of getting those recruits settled in and familiar with the tactics Wayne Rooney intends to use next season, with as much time to fine tune to set-up as possible.
It seems therefore, that Derby have been handed a window of opportunity here to give themselves a fighting chance in the Championship next season.
That you feel, is an opening they must take advantage of sooner rather than later, before other clubs close if for them.