In the small little world that is the Footbal Championship, the times are a-changing.
For the the first time in many a year it looks as if the three clubs that got relegated from the Premiership last season will all bounce back at the first attempt – providing, of course, Derby County don't spoil West Bromwich Albion's party on Bank Holiday Monday.
In fairness, Wembley are doing their very best to take on that role with the revelation that some 9,000 seats will be empty as the stadium's 10-year debenture holders opt not to get their hands dirty with the Championship's big day out.
And, obviously, there is clearly no way of sorting out the “segregation” issues that would arise if Wembley's new masters ever dreamed of letting Rams and Baggies fans be part of a final that has the richest prize in world football on offer to the winners.
The three clubs that descended the year before – Norwich, Crystal Palace and Southampton – have all failed to crack that promotion nut for the second year running. For Saints, Gareth Bale was the key that was going to unlock that play-off door. Now it would appear he's off to the Premiership anyway – albeit leaving ?10 million in his teenage wake.
Should West Bromwich Albion triumph and that ?25 million investment by those five Derby directors – of which so much was made at City's Annual General Meeting – would have made no difference. The Rams will be off to Scunthorpe next season like the rest of us.
In theory, of course, it will still be there to make a difference next year – just as the Bale cash will make a difference at St Mary's.
There is talk, too, of the Premier League affording the Championship a reported ?12 million 'grant' to help bridge that gap between the first and second flight of English football – at ?600,000 a club, it amounts to little more than a gesture. It might still make a small difference to some.
However, gone are the days when the rump of that ?25 million at Pride Park, the Bale cash at St Mary's would have automatically installed Derby and Southampton as favourites for promotion next season.
That particular early honour has, it seems, be taken by Wolves, whose world was turned upside down this week by the arrival of spurned Liverpool owner Steve Morgan and his pledge to pump ?30 million into the club on the back of his ?10 purchase of the ever under-achieving Midlands club from the Hayward family.
What is fascinating – and particularly relevant to Norwich's experience of the first, full week in the summer transfer market – is Mick McCarthy's own perception of where the arrival of Morgan's cash actually put Wolves come the start of next season.
On a par with Watford, Sheffield United and Charlton Athletic. No more than that.
“If we can level the playing field with the clubs that come down, that is great,” McCarthy said, when he spoke still awaiting to see the fine print of Morgan's takeover.
For the record, the 54-year-old Liverpool fan was quoted as being worth ?450 million in this year's Sunday Times Rich List on the back of his building and leisure interests. He would have been worth ?100 million more had his first wife not cleared him out of said sum in one of the UK's biggest-ever divorce settlements in 2000.
“I haven't had those kind of discussions yet ? this is all new to me at the moment,” added Big Mick to the Wolverhampton Express & Star, clearly quizzed as to his transfer intentions now he has the Morgan millions at his disposal.
“It's likely that the three clubs who came down will go straight back up this season which tells you the difficulties we may face. And I'm sure the teams coming down will have a distinct advantage because of their squads and the money they will get.”
That money is the newly-enhanced parachute payments worth ?10 million apiece to Charlton, Watford and Sheffield United.
Blades chairman Kevin McCabe is worth a mere ?240 million according to the same Rich List – enough to underpin both a serious promotion push and the hefty legal fees that will accompany any pursuit of the Premier League over the whole Tevez affair.
The way that all four clubs – Sheffield United, Charlton, Watford and Wolves – can now violently distort this summer's Championship transfer market brings us straight back to the whole Luke Varney episode.
There was Norwich trying to steal an early march on the market by slapping a ?2 million offer in for the 24-year-old striker; only to find themselves being blown out of the water by Charlton. Fee matched, the Canaries – with their current resources – were never, ever going to be able to match the four-year deal that Alan Pardew whacked under the boy's nose.
The Addicks were, in the player's own words, in “a different bracket”.
Certainly if some of the numbers that are rumoured to lie behind that deal are anywhere near the truth then you can comfortably double that transfer fee again in terms of the wage commitment. Comfortably.
Suddenly the Premiership is not the only division of English football to have a 'Big Four'. Listen to Milan Mandaric greet Martin Allen to the Walkers' Stadium and the one-time Pompey owner would insist it's the 'Big Five'.
“I believe Martin Allen's arrival at Leicester City is a significant appointment as the club prepare for widespread changes that will bring underachievement on the field to an end and ensure that we are a highly competitive team,” said Mandaric announced today, opting for 'Mad Dog' ahead of both ex-City chief Nigel Worthington and Neil Warnock.
“Last season's campaign was painfully unacceptable and I made it clear from the outset that significant investment in the first-team was a priority requirement if the club want to dispense with mediocrity and build towards success that will ultimately restore this club to it's rightful place in top flight football,” he added.
That comment will ring a chord with Stanley devotees – do Leicester City have any more of a “rightful” claim on a place in the top tier of English football than a Norwich, an Ipswich, a Derby or a Wolves?
But beyond that, what does that mean for Peter Grant and Co as they try to remould the Canaries into a top six minimum team?
One, that in every likelihood until they get to play with the potential money the Turners might bring to the party – one way of looking at the foiled Varney deal might be to see it as Andrew and Sharon 'gifting' City a bright new, shiny ?2 million striker as a way to see what running a football club might have to offer them as “a project” going forward as opposed to that simple ?2 million “loan” mentioned on their arrival – the Canaries are going to be out-bid on every Varney-stroke-Pearson type player that they and others fancy.
Two, that if ever there was a time and an onus on clubs to discover a player that no-one else has ever heard of – be it in the depths of Eastern Europe or the wild Highlands of Scotland – now is it.
Three, that Ricky Martin's Academy needs to churn out Gareth Bale-like teenagers like never before.
That four, if they do manage to do 'Three…' expect them to be here for no longer than a season tops before they join Giles Barnes on the first bus to the Premiership.
That five, that until 'One…' happens it could be a long, hard summer in the transfer market.
And that six, without numbers 'One, Two, Three, Four, Five…' the only trick a club of Norwich's current ilk will have left up their sleeve is to be blessed with exceptional management of the Roy Keane variety.