By the time it's all over next May, Sky Sports television have done their tinkering, and it has been further attacked by FA Cup replays and the weather, it will be almost unrecognisable - there were mixed feelings of trepidation and excitement when the fixture list for the 2005-06 English football season was published yesterday.
At least for now, Premiership fans can gaze with awe at an untouched, almost virginal list of 38 fixtures involving their club, 32 of which are actually scheduled to be played at 3pm on Saturday.
First in line to get switched are sure to be the two derby clashes between Birmingham City and Aston Villa.
For the moment, they meet at St Andrew's on October 15 and then again at Villa Park on April 15. But of far more concern to both clubs is who they've got first up.
"It could have been worse," said Steve Bruce, whose Blues side face a first-day visit to Craven Cottage. " Fulham would no doubt have settled for playing us at home on the first day. But we then get two home games in a row which gives us the chance of getting some points on the board.
"And any manager would like to avoid playing Chelsea or Manchester United straight off."
Villa manager David O'Leary is not so fortunate in that respect.
After starting with a home game against Bolton Wanderers, Villa's first away match is at Old Trafford.
"It's always nice to have a home game on the opening day," O'Leary said. "And a repeat of the performance we gave on the first day last year against Southampton would be very welcome.
"The first away game will be tough against United but I enjoy pitting my wits against Sir Alex Ferguson."
Of major concern for Blues fans is when they will see their former favourite Robbie Savage again.
Savage, who missed his eagerly-awaited return last season due to a gentlemen's agreement, will have to wait until Easter Monday (April 17) for Blackburn Rovers to come to St Andrew's. But he can expect a rough ride much earlier than that when he makes his first return to the Midlands at Villa Park on August 27.
West Bromwich Albion have cause to moan about being made to start on the road for a sixth successive year. And, following the opening-day visit to Manchester City, they then face a tough midweek trip to champions Chelsea ten nights later. But the positive side is that their first three home games all look winnable.
Bryan Robson is confident of getting off on the right foot as he said: "Everybody said we never seem to get a home game to start the season and we haven't again.
"But it's a reasonable start to the season, which gives us a chance to get a few points on the board and that's exactly what we want to do.
"We don't want to be starting against the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and all those teams because if you start well it gives the players confidence."
Albion's first home game is against Portsmouth, which still ought to be quite an occasion even if they cannot possibly match the drama of Pompey's last visit on the final day of last season.
Then they face Blues, who were one of only four other teams to lose at The Hawthorns last season. and that is followed by a visit by promoted Wigan Athletic - for whom Albion old boy Jason Roberts ought to expect a hot reception.
It's a tough Christmas for Albion, though, with a Boxing Day match at Bryan Robson's old club Manchester United followed by matches against Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Villa in the space of a week.
In the Coca-Cola League, Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Glenn Hoddle return to St Mary's on opening day to face relegated Southampton, who he left to go back to Spurs five years ago. It will be roles reversed three weeks later when Wolves go to Cardiff City to meet up with their old manager Dave Jones.
Hoddle said: "It's ironic to say the least the opening game's at Southampton but it's not about individuals - it's about taking a team there to get a result."
Coventry City have persuaded Norwich City to reverse their opening fixture to stage the match against the Sky Blues at Carrow Road, subject to Football League approval.
Building delays mean Coventry's new Ricoh Arena stadium will not be completed until Saturday, August 20, but the League had turned down the club's request to be given three consecutive away games at the start of the 2005-06 Coca-Cola Championship campaign.
Instead, the fixture planners handed the Sky Blues a home game against the Canaries on the opening day. Norwich have confirmed they would be happy to play the game at home and then travel to meet the Midlanders on Saturday, November 26.
If the rearrangements are approved by the League, Queens Park Rangers will provide the first Ricoh Arena opposition on August 20.
Opening day fixtures: Villa v Bolton Wanderers, Fulham v Blues, Man City v Albion, Southampton v Wolves, Coventry City v Norwich City, Rotherham v Walsall.