Like most life-changing experiences relegation from the Championship tends to cause an existential crisis as entire rugby clubs are forced to examine their raison d’etre.
The most recent demotees have not only been denuded of their Premiership-pretensions they are also stripped of virtually all financial assistance from the RFU.
Clubs aren’t so much weaned off their dependence on central funding as forced to go cold turkey.
Player loyalty is tested beyond breaking point, coaches must reconcile the cost of failure and supporters have to recalibrate their expectations as Wharfedale and Tynedale replace Leeds and Cornish Pirates on the fixture list.
It is what Birmingham & Solihull Bees chief-backer Chris Loughran describes as ‘a hard landing’. It is also what Loughran has spent much of his summer figuring out how to manage.
The chairman’s main priority has been calculating exactly how much of his own money – and he’s still responsible for around 75 per cent of the club’s revenue – he has to inject to arrest the decline.
The process of finding out begins on Saturday when Bees host newly-promoted Ealing at Damson Park.
“I am quite excited,” Loughran insists. “We have been down in this division before - with a slightly different set-up at the club.
“We had some great games of rugby and visited some wonderful clubs.
“But the one thing I would be disappointed if we did do, would be a Manchester – out of no disrespect to the guys running Manchester.
“If we get our sums and recruitment wrong, I would be very disappointed indeed.
“Given the hard landing the club coming down from the Championship gets avoiding that would be a qualified success. It is about stopping the downward momentum and I think we have done that.”
Loughran’s fears are not misplaced. Of the dozen teams relegated from the second tier since 2003, eight have gone on to experience further loss of status.
Only Esher and Moseley, who have returned to the second tier and Coventry and Sedgley Park, who remain in the third, have stabilised.
Launceston, Otley, Newbury, Waterloo, Manchester, Rugby Lions and Henley have all dropped at least once more and Orrell and Wakefield have suffered even greater indignities.
Bees’ task is to ensure they do not become an unlucky 13th and for all Russell Earnshaw’s bullish optimism, National One is becoming as testing an environment now as the Championship was five years ago.
And whilst money isn’t everything, it is definitely something. Bees’ initiative of raffling shirt sponsorship brought in £10,000.
If the Solihull business community remains a difficult environment, though, Loughran detects a thawing in the relationship with many estranged former-followers.
“We had a reasonable response to funding appeal – from supporters, but would have welcomed more from local business,” he says.
“What is remarkable is how many supporters have put their hands in their pockets to contribute.
“There are some people, locally and further afield, that felt we did not warrant a place in the division above because of the risk of over-stretching. They are now coming back to the club.”
Once again responsibility for putting the squad together has fallen to Earnshaw.
The player-coach took relegation very personally, indeed so personally he opted to turn down a full-time role with another Championship outfit, he claims to makes things right, although Loughran maintains it wasn’t Earnshaw’s decision alone.
“We had an open conversation and said in some walks of life the performances and results of last season would have ended in termination and he knows he made a number of mistakes.
“But given what he has been through I think it would have been brutal of us to have gone down that road. He loves the club and thinks he has a part to play in its future.”