Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has offered a message of hope for Derby County fans.
While an immediate return to the Championship may not quite be a realistic target, Maguire believes there will be a brighter future ahead for the Rams.
The club is set to be taken over by Chris Kirchner, but the deal has yet to be finalised.
That will be the dawn of a new era for the club, having gone into administration in September.
Wayne Rooney’s side were relegated from the Championship as a result of a 21-point deduction penalty from going into administration.
That means the club is now preparing for life in League One, but Maguire believes that Wigan Athletic offers the template for future success at Pride Park.
“I think if Derby fans, chastened by the experience of this is what happens when you fly too close to the sun, might temper their expectations,” said Maguire, via Derbyshire Live.
“They might say instead of trying to take a shortcut to promotion to the Premier League, we want to grow organically.
“We’ve still got a good academy set-up, and we’re prepared to wait. Get a few kids coming through, a couple of decent signings on Bosmans and use the loan market as well.
“The big positive you can take from this is that look at Wigan Athletic.
“They went into administration and they’ve just come out as champions. I saw one of their directors on Monday, I was chatting away with him, and they seem very, very happy with what’s happened there.
“While Chris Kirchner has got to build up the asset base in terms of the playing squad, he doesn’t have to worry about the creditors.
“They won’t have the same level of bills that need paying in the short term, especially assuming that he’s taking the three-year 35 per cent option in terms of coming out of administration.”
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The American businessman has been the front runner to take over at Derby for some time now, but there are still a few details holding back his purchase of the club.
Most notably, the ownership of Pride Park has been a big issue throughout this process.
But once the deal can be confirmed, Derby can begin their preparations for turning the club around.
The takeover will need to happen soon so that the Rams can start to improve their squad and help Rooney settle a team.
Derby may need to recognise that promotion this season will be a difficult task in such a competitive league.
The long-term sustainability of the club should be seen as far more important than chasing a place back in the second division.
Rooney has shown he is capable hands for the team to be managed by and he should be trusted to maintain the good work he has done in his time in charge.