The football world waits while Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis makes his final preparations to hand over the reins and start a new era.
If the Comer brothers' proposed takeover bid does go ahead, it is not unreasonable to start speculating as to what the future will hold for Villa on the park.
The future of manager David O'Leary, for instance, is one major factor that has to come under consideration, as would be the case with any change of ownership and a quick glance at the Premiership table gives the distinct impression that time has stood still.
In his two-and-a-half years in charge, O'Leary has made great mileage out of the way he rescued his side from the depths of 16th in the Premiership, where Villa finished under Graham Taylor prior to his departure and O'Leary's appointment in May 2003.
Villa ended that season just three points clear of 18th-placed West Ham United, who were relegated but Monday night's wretched 3 - 1 defeat at Manchester City has left Villa back in that same precarious 16th spot, now just two points clear of safety. And, although this season's Premiership is only just past 25 per cent done with 19 goals shipped so far from 11 games, it is not a happy position.
Local Premiership rivals Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion might both be beneath them, but the way this grim season for the Midlands is shaping up, that's no guarantee of safety.
For all the promise of that flirtation with Europe in O'Leary's first season and another top-ten finish last term, the current position does not seem promising.
"This is when we've got to stand up and be counted," said O'Leary, in the wake of another floodlit flop from his misfiring team. " This is where I'll see what sort of character we have, big style.
"We've got to move on and life is going to be hard, particularly if we continue conceding the sort of goals we are at the moment."
O'Leary was probably putting on a brave public face compared to what was said in the dressing room on Monday night when he referred to the season's most embarrassing moment so far as " an absolute joke".
The cock- up between Jlloyd Samuel and debutant Stuart Taylor that gifted Villa old boy Darius Vassell his early goal was merely the latest in a string of needlessly conceded strikes.
"We've been our own worst enemy so far this season," said O'Leary. "We've got to stop giving soft goals away.
" I ' m aware of our problems. Doing something about it is the thing."
Admittedly, Villa's injury list seems to lengthen by the week and the inflexibility of the modern- day transfer window system hardly helps in that respect.
But, even with a chairman as cautious as Ellis to convince, O'Leary was still allowed to spend heavily this summer - a total of £17 million being spent on eight new players.
And, although he can be perhaps considered unlucky in the way he has been messed about with regard to the continued absence of Milan Baros, there remain question marks as to whether O'Leary might have spent his money better.
Eyebrows still raise at the very mention of the n a m e Djemba-Djemba, a panic buy if ever there was one last January. It remains equally baffling as to why O'Leary did not choose to strengthen the centre of his defence when he had the chance.
It might be argued that he could not have expected Martin Laursen to be ruled out for the season so early in the campaign but the manager admitted only last week that he had been half-expecting to see the Dane break down.
While it's a fair bet that Villa will not see anything of Baros until the Czech Republic's World Cup fate is known in a fortnight's time (even with his old club, Liverpool, due on Saturday), at least O'Leary can see some light at the end of his treatment-room tunnel.
Lee Hendrie is fit again after undergoing knee surgery and was back on reserve-team duty at Everton last night - as part of a team that also included Djemba Djemba and Ulises de la Cruz.
* Following Villa's defeat on Monday night, bookmakers totesport are now offering 33-1 that all three West Midland clubs are relegated from the Premiership.