So it is done. Tranmere’s fate has been decided. Next season, for the first time since being elected to the Football League 94 years ago, they will be playing with the mix of part-time and professional clubs in the Conference.
Last Saturday hurt. Big time. I think many fans had seen it coming for quite a while.
There was anger, and understandably so. Without wanting to sound like one of those arrogant supporters you sometimes stumble across on the internet, Rovers ARE too big for the non-league scene.
But that will not make promotion any easier. If anything, it could make things more difficult.
Over the next twelve months, Tranmere will host the likes of Braintree, Welling and Dover, as opposed to Sheffield United, Wolves and Coventry in 2013/14.
Those teams will be motivated by playing on the Wirral. It is something a bit different, perhaps a bit more special.
I would not be as patronising as to say it’s their “cup final”, but just like days gone by when Rovers had huge knock out clashes on the road, you would expect some players to find a little bit extra by playing at Prenton Park.
What is vital is treating this league with the respect it deserves. Otherwise, the chances of getting out of it become thinner.
Hindsight says mistakes were made last season. Perhaps the playing style employed by Rob Edwards was not suited to League Two, which is much more kick and rush than the division above.
And then too many players were used (52 have had a squad number). Even Micky Adams, but his own admission, said this had been a problem.
Bringing in lads who are used to the Conference, even if it is only until promotion is achieved, as well as playing a brand of football that works in the division might be the best way to get out of it (and through the attic, not the basement!).
But I do think what is most key is getting a group of players and sticking by them.
Yes, if things are going horribly wrong, have a little tinker here and there.
But as we have seen this season, a cascade of new arrivals did nothing but upset a team that in January looked upwardly mobile.
That is not to say the players brought in lacked talent. Far from it. More so, the number that came in is something you would usually see in June. Not mid-season.
This means they had no time to settle and were thrown straight into the action.
I have seen calls for a complete squad cull. I am not sure that is the right way to go. You need some stability.
The new management team have a brilliant chance to build a side around some promising talent already here.
The likes of Michael Ihiekwe, Liam Ridehalgh, Jake Kirby and Cole Stockton are all contracted for 2015/16. With the right management, tactics and coaching, they could become the backbone for a strong team.
Throw in the four youngsters who have been offered professional deals and some out of contract first XI players and you have the basis of a team.
Then, what you need to do is add raw talent from the non-league circuit. Hopefully, that would be promotion chasing formula.
That is my take on things anyway. You may not agree with it. But either way, let’s give the Conference a real good go. It will not be easy, and there will be testing times, but earning promotion will be that little less tougher if the supporters stick together and give everyone at the club their backing.