When Derby County sealed a 10th place finish in the Championship last year, they would have been hoping to mount a potential push for promotion during the current campaign.
However, a woeful start to the season resulted in the Rams deciding to replace Phillip Cocu with Wayne Rooney who has since struggled to transform the club's fortunes.
A run of six consecutive defeats in the second-tier has culminated in Derby being dragged into a relegation dogfight by Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United.
Set to face the Owls this weekend, the Rams will be consigned to a year in League One if they suffer defeat at the hands of Darren Moore's side at Pride Park.
If the Rams fail to achieve survival, it could turn out to be a busy summer of transfer activity as the club may need to wave goodbye to some of their biggest earners in order to prepare for life in the third-tier.
Speaking on the latest episode of the Sky Sports EFL Podcast about Derby's woes, pundit Keith Andrews has suggested that financial mismanagement has played a major role in the club's demise.
The former Republic of Ireland international said: "This problem hasn't just arrived in the last few weeks, you look at the recruitment and you look at the money that has been misspent at Derby County football club, it was only going to go one way."
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
Whilst Derby were well within their rights to try and reach the Premier League in recent years by spending significant fees on players such as Krystian Bielik and Martyn Waghorn, they have ultimately failed to achieve this particular goal and have suffered in a financial sense at times this season.
Earlier this year, the Rams were unable to pay their players on time as owner Mel Morris was forced to wait to see whether a deal involving Sheikh Khaled would go through.
Although this proposed deal eventually collapsed in March, Derby are now set to be taken over by Erik Alonso who agreed to purchase the club from Morris last month.
Whereas the Spanish businessman would have been hoping to lead the Rams into a new dawn in the Championship next season, he will need to plan for a spell in League One due to the club's poor performances in recent months.
If Derby do suffer relegation to the third-tier, it is imperative that they get their recruitment spot on as it is far from easy to secure an immediate return to the Championship due to the competitiveness of this division.News Now - Sport News