Perhaps the only source of optimism for Derby County fans this season has been the thought of a takeover.
After a miserable start to the season saw Phillip Cocu sacked, the Rams remain in the relegation zone despite a recent slight improvement under Wayne Rooney.
Most of the reports on the managerial front - such as those from the BBC and the Daily Mail - have suggested no decision is likely until the takeover is complete - though news from The Athletic could prove to be a hammer blow.
According to their report, industry insiders believe any Middle Eastern-takeover of the club could have stalled and may well be off.
That reportedly comes down to a number of factors, including an apparent unpaid legal bill for Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Bin Saquer Al-Nahyan following his attempts to buy Newcastle United, as well as any owner reportedly being liable to take on a £30m debt owed to computing billionaire, Michael Dell.
It must also be said that the report does state the club themselves still remain confident the deal will go through.
GIVEMESPORT's Jonathan Gorrie says...
This really is turning into a bit of a mess for Derby and it must be gutting for supporters.
The longer this looms, the harder it is to see any firm decision as to who the club's next manager will be, which cannot be a healthy situation.
While it is by no means confirmation that the deal if off, the strange state of limbo the club are in isn't exactly conducive to the long-term planning needed to win promotion, which surely must be the aim at some point for a club of this size.
All Rooney can do is keep buying time. Though his side aren't exactly the most thrilling given their lack of goals, he has stopped the rot somewhat and is unbeaten in five games. If he can keep that up, at least fears of being cut adrift at the bottom of the league will have been allayed.News Now - Sport News