Birmingham & Solihull’s desire to become a self-sufficient entity tests the water at level four this season, a campaign in which they will be hopeful of arresting a run of successive relegations.
With each demotion they edge closer to reality and away from the delusion that being a Championship side is their raison d’etre. It might be again one day but not without big, big changes.
Of which there have been quite a few this summer. Off the field Russell Earnshaw has handed over the reins to his assistant Eugene Martin and the club have moved lock and stock back to Portway, whence they started more than 20 years ago.
On it, the mercenaries have gone and left a core of committed clubmen and ambitious youngsters, captained by one of their own, Will Radburn.
At just 20 the hooker will probably be the most fresh-faced skipper in National Two North but the fact he is Bees, born and bred, is of considerable significance as Martin tries to build a club culture.
Whether he can do that and resist the relegation current remains to be seen in a division that will be long on local derbies and difficult trips up-country and short on home bankers.
Stourbridge, Bromsgrove and Dudley Kingswinford are also competing for the same living space while Preston Grasshoppers and Caldy will fancy their chances of reaching the third tier.
Continuity has been more apparent at Stourton Park where Neil Mitchell has given many of the players relegated last year, the chance to make amends this.
Bromsgrove and DK, meanwhile, will continue to develop organically – a path Bees are finally learning to follow.