Blackburn Rovers' demise has involved agents profiteering, perceived treachery, a bitter secret lawsuit, Gary Neville's 'Teletubbbies' house, baffled managers, jaw-dropping contracts and fan revolt. And that was just year one.
It should serve as a cautionary lesson about governance. History says it won't be heeded.
As Rovers teeter on the brink, 90 minutes from England's third tier and the first Premier League winners to fall so far, it can be revealed their 2010 takeover was subject to a formal Football Association investigation for years. Technically it could be re-opened.
That probe didn't focus on the Indian owners, headed by Anuradha Desai. Rather the FA looked at agent Jerome Anderson, (PIC ABOVE) his firm SEM, and global agency Kentaro.
SEM, now being liquidated, were corporate partners of Kentaro, now defunct themselves and under investigation in relation to the FIFA scandal. Kentaro were also commercial partners of the FA
The Premier League winners of 1995 are the odds-on favourites to go down on Sunday. It's them, Nottingham Forest or Birmingham but Rovers' fate is not in their own hands.
In some senses, it has not been for years. This newspaper has chronicled the 'Venky's years' from the start. As the only writer to travel to Pune to meet the Rao family, I visited their mansion, saw their collection of 74 luxury cars, had privileged access to their business empire to properly assess their £2billion-plus fortune and got to know them.
A few insights into their world may shed light. One afternoon in July 2011 my phone rings. It is Mrs Desai. 'Shall we buy Raul from Schalke in Germany?' she asks. The Spaniard was available, perhaps for nothing, on around £6m a year.
'If you don't trust your manager or CEO, get replacements you do trust to help,' I told her, not for the first time. She pressed for advice so I said Raul was unhappy because he rated his then manager, Ralf Rangnick, as not 'high-profile' enough. 'He's hardly going to rate Steve Kean,' I added. I said if she had £6m to spend, maybe Reading's Shane Long, age 24 and available for around £4.5m, might be a better fit. Mrs Desai thanked me, then made an offer for Raul which he rejected. Long went to West Brom.
The perception of Venky's as remote and uncaring was prevalent but early on at least, they cared. Before a match at Wolves in 2011, one of Mrs Desai's brothers, Venky Rao, texted seeking a suitable temple near Molineux to pray, pre-match. Rovers won 3-2 and stayed up.
Enamoured with England, buzzing with the escape, Venky's pondered opening a fast-food chicken outlet in London's Leicester Square, undeterred by £16m for small premises. That went on hold as football matters went downhill and costs spiralled.
They remained generous to those who helped them and while Premier League bigwigs were thrilled to receive Harrods hampers, Rovers' youth team were not so thrilled to be told to deliver them in vans.
Venky Rao asked me to meet him in summer 2011 at a Park Lane hotel. We took his limo around the corner to dinner at another five-star hotel. He confided they had bought a house. 'From a footballer, Gary Neville,' he said. 'For around £6m.' An architect was flown from India to make changes to the bathrooms, gold-plating them. The house was used less than envisaged as the atmosphere became hostile. The Rao brothers left a game at Wigan at half-time, spooked, and Venky Rao felt especially vulnerable because he'd been the victim of an attempted kidnap.
So why was Mrs Rao asking me for transfer advice in the first place? Because her faith in highly-paid football 'experts' was destroyed within months.
Anderson was one advisor, talking openly about being based at the training ground through January 2011's transfer window. He had also been involved, for a fee, in the introduction of Venky's to the Jack Walker Trust in 2010.
Separately, the day that takeover was complete, a contract came into play whereby Kentaro provided Venky's with 'consultancy services' including the hiring and firing of managers and players.
By spring 2011, Venky's believed they'd taken the wrong path. Anderson was put 'on the outside' and Venky's kept Kean on but embarked on a bitter secret legal dispute against Kentaro.
In March 2011 the FA had written asking who was running Blackburn. The Rovers secretary, Andrew Pincher, wrote to the FA's head of integrity, David Newton, to disclose the Kentaro contract.
Pincher also confided to the FA that Venky's received consultancy services on their takeover from Brunei-based firm Crescendo Sports Limited. He wrote: 'An officer of SEM Limited, Jerome Anderson, has a connection with Crescendo.'
Anderson's alleged involvement was a potential conflict of interest if acting both for a potential buyer of a club and the seller. He denied any link to Crescendo or any involvement in Kentaro's contract with Venky's.
The FA considered whether Anderson contravened regulations prohibiting agents from influencing club affairs. He denied the sacking of Sam Allardyce and hiring of Kean were his ideas, and said the signing of SEM players including his son, Myles, were nothing to do with him.
Allardyce in his autobiography last year provided new insight to the period around his sacking by saying it was clear from the start: 'Anderson was going to have a big say in the running of the club'. Anderson had summoned Allardyce to London early in Venky's tenure to present him with a list of players Anderson wanted Allardyce to sign. Allardyce declined.
Anderson said Rovers' owners signed off all decisions, and they did. For example, they sanctioned the signing of young striker Ruben Rochina for £400,000, with £1.65m paid to his agent, Manuel Salamanca Ferrer. Anderson admitted working on the deal but said he never received a penny.
As Blackburn were relegated to the Championship in 2012, Mrs Desai trusted nobody but employees from home. One of them, a trainee hatcheries manager, was even sent to France to knock on club doors to inquire about transfer targets, in order to avoid rip-off agents. The ploy failed.
Mrs Desai and her brothers were embarrassed by what was happening. 'Mortified and ashamed,' says one source. They were loathe to admit being so naive to let third parties effectively run their club, and reticent to complain to the authorities. 'Our club, our fault,' is how they themselves saw it.
The MoS obtained documents detailing Venky's legal battle with Kentaro, a fight both sides wanted kept secret. I took them to the FA's head of integrity, Newton, spreading them across his desk at Wembley Stadium in 2012.
'Where the hell did you get these?' he said, incredulous. He had no idea a club under the FA's jurisdiction was at war with an FA commercial partner. No action was taken.
Venky's settled out of court with Kentaro after several years.
So chaotic did matters become after Blackburn's relegation that a later manager phoned me on a Sunday morning to ask me what was going on at the club he was working for. 'Anyone's guess,' I said.
On and on the soap opera goes. Whatever happens on Sunday, it will run a while yet.
And the FA seem as far as ever from having effective structures around fit and proper owners and fit and proper de facto control of clubs.
With acknowledgement to Nick Harris Mail On Sunday.