Aston Villa Football Club today lies in a hospital bed in Birmingham. It arrived there last week under the name of Herbert Douglas Ellis, underwent successful heart surgery, and now finds itself entering yet another stage of transition.
Not far from Priory Hospital lies Villa Park, the headquarters for aforementioned football club, and the place where Herbert feels most at home.
He intends to return there, probably at some time in August, to oversee a new phase of underachievement. Outside Priory Hospital, those who profess a love for the club - the supporters - are calling for Herbert and Aston Villa to become separate entities.
It will not be easy. Herbert and Aston Villa have been one and the same for the best part of two generations. He is 81; the club is 131.
The cynics among us will suggest that, while Herbert rests at Priory Hospital, the club is suffering from a power vacuum. Can any meaningful business be conducted in his absence? Can any transfers be made?
Tony Hales, one of four non-executive directors, was quick to enter the debate. Fearing yet another Aston Villa public-relations disaster, he came out to claim that, contrary to reports and perceptions, there is no power vacuum.
For sure, there is no chief executive since the resignation of Bruce Langham two weeks ago, but that issue is being resolved. And transfer activity will be arranged by Steve Stride, the operations director, and David O'Leary, the manager. How can things go wrong?
"There has been a lot of misinformation but the fact is that Aston Villa is not a rudderless ship, as one unnamed source suggested," Hales told the official Villa website. "There is a management structure in place that will allow our planning for the new season to continue unabated.
"Steven Stride continues to work with David O'Leary to bring in new players and our planning will not be affected in any way. Steven is in charge of day-to-day operations and is very experienced in that area.
"The club continues to be managed, the business goes on. We have a board meeting this week and there is plenty to do. We want to strengthen the club in terms of bringing in some new players.
"The Board are already taking steps to replace former chief executive Bruce Langham and are looking for a speedy resolution.
"We interviewed people last week, for the management of the club - so it is business as usual."
Hales was also pleased with the progress of the chairman's recovery after his operation. "I understand the operation went satisfactorily. We all wish Doug the very best," he said.
Everybody wishes Herbert all the best. His health is paramount. But so, too, is that of Aston Villa. Supporters' groups all over the region have been quick to offer their best wishes to the chairman and to politely suggest that he considers his future.
Aston Villa seem to be entering a new era every week. But this could be the real new era, the one that will attract potential backers and, perhaps, even set up a bidding war.
The club, which is not in any significant debt, is relatively well-run and boasts one of the finest brand names in European football. At a market price of £43 million, Villa is a bargain, although Herbert would probably want double that before he even considered a divorce.
Shares in Herbert (aka Aston Villa) are trading at 3791/2p each, an improvement on the days in July 2002 when they were 115p, but still way below the high of 820p in the summer of 1997.
The fashion these days is for foreign billionaires to express an interest in our footballing heritage.
However, according to one academic, American sporting magnates are not about to take over the Premiership. Not yet, at least.
Professor Bill Gerrard, from the Leeds University Business School suggests that clubs such as Aston Villa, are not yet likely candidates for takeovers. Malcolm Glazer, the American tycoon who now owns more than 97 per cent of Manchester United, will be the exception rather than the rule.
"We're getting carried away if we think there's anything more substantial because, in sporting terms, the US is pretty insular," Gerrard said.