As Aston Villa's stupefied fans wake up this morning to yet more stories about their club's conservative financial husbandry many will be sorely tempted to roll over go back to sleep.
For slumber is where they are most happy, recounting the glories of the past when all of Europe fell under a claret and blue flag and where every club in England existed in their shadow.
Indeed for men and women who look to football to provide a dramatic edge to their everyday lives, where the heart rules the head 11 times out of ten, Aston Villa must be a source of great disappointment - especially when the headlines read 'Losses down to #2m' and not 'Villa splash #7m on Baros' as they do today.
The club with seven league championships, seven FA Cups, five League Cups and a European title to their name, are currently mired in mid-table - stodge as one fan called it earlier this summer - unable to tempt the country's biggest players through its door. Life has taken a very prosaic turn.
But those critics who lambast the club, and its elderly chairman in particular, should look around at the rest of the footballing world to see a landscape vastly changed from the one in which they won most of the aforementioned honours.
The English Premiership is now a cut-throat business where increased finance and commercial awareness has, over the last decade, deepened the pitfalls for taking a wrong-economic turn.
A dodgy deal here or ill-judged venture there and a club's very existence can be threatened. Villa's current manager David O'Leary understands that better than many people.
For it was he, in a previous guise as the upwardly mobile manager of Leeds United, who rode the crest of the gambled wave taken on his behalf by the Elland Road hierarchy.
Led by the wonky vision of then chairman Peter Risdale, Leeds borrowed heavily to fund a short-term bid to usurp domestic and continental crowns.
They nearly got there too. In 2001 O'Leary guided a young and exciting team to the semi-finals of the Champions League leading many to predict a glorious 2001-2 campaign with Robbie Keane, Mark Viduka, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler and Lee Bowyer all blazing a new trail.
But when on-pitch success dried up after O'Leary's departure in the summer of 2002, the creditors came calling, a once proud club imploded and was within a few days of financial collapse.
Wind the clock forward and Leeds United now find themselves wallowing around The Championship trying to engender excitement over signing players like Robbie Blake and Rob Hulse.
Villa fans should try telling their brethren in the John Charles Stand all about lack of ambition and boring football. They should try talking to the followers of Wrexham who might not have a team to watch nor a ground to watch it in.
And they should speak to Wimbledon fans who now have to make an 80-mile round trip to watch a 'home' game in a ramshackle hockey stadium.
Prudence may not be an attractive partner but you know she'll be there when you come home at night, there'll be clothes to wear and food on the table. You'll probably even be able to afford to go to the odd match too.
In light of the above she really is the only option. There are four clubs in the top flight who are playing by different rules. Manchester United and Chelsea operate on their own fiscal planet while Arsenal and Liverpool have the solid foundation and recent glamour to make up for anything they lack monetary muscle.
The rest, and that includes Villa, are snuffling around for the crumbs under the table of plenty in the hope that one year one of the big four slip up and allow them a crack at the Champions League.
Everton suggest this can be done. With a combination of intoxicating team spirit and shrewd management they have gate-crashed Europe's party despite a parlous economic position.
Below that there are seven or eight teams who are just grateful for being allowed in the Premiership, for whom relegation is a constant bedfellow and whose entire organisation has to be underpinned by contingency plans when demotion beckons.
So while Villa wait for the prize-winning combination, on the pitch and off it, to unlock the safe, the naysayers might like to ask themselves what's better than stability? A dangerous gamble that probably won't pay off?
At least under their maligned chairman, Doug Ellis, they are one of the most stable clubs in England. So don't beat the management of the present with the glories of the past when it's the future that really counts. At least Villa have one.