When Derby County stayed up on the final day of the Championship season, there were promises to move ahead.
Indeed, after a miserable campaign plagued by off-field problems amid lingering takeover stories, a dramatic 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday in what was effectively a relegation play-off looked like it could be a catalyst for change.
Wayne Rooney had managed to beat the drop only a few months into his managerial career and could look ahead to a first full season in charge, potentially backed by new owners.
Clearly, things haven't worked out that way since.
Unable to bring any players in ahead of the new season, Rooney has lamented the lack of options in his squad and even went as far as to suggest he simply did not know how he could field a team on the opening day of the season against Huddersfield Town if that did not change soon.
"All I can do is try to bring some dignity and pride back to this club. It is clear that has gone in the last few years and it is my job to bring that back. I need other people to do their job.
"If we can't bring players in over the next two weeks I do not know how we field a team to start the season," said the former England captain (via Sky Sports).
"I haven't got one centre-back signed to the club, there are two very young players in the U23s and U18s. It would be impossible for me to field a team."
Sadly, things appear to be getting worse.
A report from The Daily Telegraph has recently claimed that Rooney - a man renowned for his intensity during his stellar playing career - accidentally injured one of his few options during a training session.
While preparing for the new season, the 35-year-old is said to have tackled midfielder Jason Knight after he was forced to partake in a session due to a lack of players, leaving the 20-year-old with ankle damage which could rule him out for up to 12 weeks.
Knight, who started 41 league games for the club last season, is one of only seven outfield players currently contracted to Derby, who have now seen some of the restrictions imposed by their EFL transfer embargo lifted.
Still, there has been little movement on the incoming front and things look bleak ahead of the new season.
If Rooney manages to turn this around, it will surely go down as one of the great achievements in his glittering career.News Now - Sport News