We want our Rangers back
There is an age-old saying that a captain will always stand, stoic and unflinching, as his beleaguered ship disappears beneath the waves.
Oddly, the entire Queens Park Rangers first-team squad appear to have taken this law of the high seas and applied it to their Premier league swansong.
With four games remaining in a season where Rangers have effectively been doomed to sink without trace since the opening day, comparisons with Titanic are irresistible.
Rather like the glamorous but ill-fated ocean liner, the R's squad was assembled at great cost and lauded as something to be celebrated, a magnificent leap forward.
Yet the man at the helm while all this posturing and pretence was flooding the club's official channels of communication has walked the plank, and is nowhere to be seen.
As the lifeboats prepare to ferry only the best and brightest away from the disaster, those that are left must prepare for the worst possible fate: Championship football.
However, this descent to a more appropriate footballing level should only worry those for whom the past year has merely been an opportunity to feather their nests.
Some have risen to the challenge while others have fallen, perhaps willingly, at the first hurdle. Effort has lacked from so many quarters and individuals this season.
Against Stoke City at the weekend, it was quite clear that the majority of the players had missed manager Harry Redknapp's stream of "no surrender" press conferences.
If Peter Crouch looked rather embarrassed at the ease with which he was allowed to score the opener past goalkeeper Rob Green, the shame was magnified in the stands.
Perhaps behind the scenes there is a holiday camp atmosphere sanctioned by Redknapp where the players have given up and are awaiting rescue by bigger clubs.
Such a situation is not as implausible as it may appear. Although the shenanigans in Dubai have conveniently been forgotten, they undeniably still took place.
Painfully, the R's are now in limbo, waiting for either Aston Villa, comprehensively beaten by Manchester United on Monday, or Wigan Athletic, to amass 37 points.
This would confirm the inevitable, and may well take place on Sunday. Both QPR and Reading could go down with the same points, at the same ground, on the same day.
One might imagine that there is rather a lot in common between the Superhoops and the club that also likes to use this title, but in reality, they could not be more different.
Reading have a squad fit for the Championship and one of the brightest young managerial talents in the country. They have simply been outclassed this season.
By contrast, QPR have an unaffordable wage bill, horribly grandiose ideals about their status, clueless owners, mercenary players and apparently, debts of £90million.
It does not take a great deal of intelligence to work out which will struggle and plunge to the foot of the sea bed, and which will ride the crest of a promotion-winning wave.
This campaign has been a painful and expensive learning curve. A lesson in the greed of the Premier League, one must hope that Tony Fernandes has been paying attention.
Sometimes a crisis is so deep-rooted that it cannot be solved by having money thrown at it. It has been chanted before, and will be sung again. We want our Rangers back.