It seems that at the end of what has been a very long and dark tunnel for Portsmouth FC there may just be a glimmer, however small that light is, of sunshine at the end of this arduous journey from FA Cup Winners to cash-crippled League Two fodder.
But the inevitable relegation to English football’s fourth tier is a small price to pay for what is now seemingly a long-term future for the club. At Fratton Park they can finally start to look forward rather than back.
Repairing the image of the club in some quarters of the local community will still take time. With the fall-out from the new deal seeing the likes of the opportunist money-maker Balram Chanrai and his associated creditors receiving their millions and the likes of St Johns Ambulance and the pie and chips man unlikely to receive any more than a tuppence for their bothers; some will continue to be perturbed by the clubs dark ages.
But in terms of on the football pitch there is little doubt that the only way should be up for the club and with the Supporters Trust now in charge of matters they can look at a certain Premier League club for inspiration in terms of how successful the new model can be.
The Swansea City Supporters Trust has been on the board of control at the South Wales club since 2002; previously they were run by unpopular Australian Tony Petty and were languishing near the foot of the Football League.
Since then the supporters trust have given the fans a voice on the board and the success has been palpably clear for all to see.
In just ten small years they have risen from the bottom of the Football League in to the Premier League with managers like Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez and Michael Laudrup all truly making a name for themselves at the club.
This season saw them reach the pinnacle of this success with League Cup victory; meaning next season will see them play European football once again.
It will be a long road for Pompey to even get close to the success Swansea have had since their brush with oblivion but the tunnel surrounding it should be illuminated far more brightly than that which led them to this day.
image: © Ben Sutherland