Having undergone something of an identity crisis, and recently withstood a ferocious Mancunia-fuelled assault from the Carling Cup, the FA Cup has found its calling at last.
The oldest knockout cup competition in the world now exists purely to provide financial succour to stricken teams who came unstuck chasing the dream of Premier League glory.
It is football's answer to those reprehensible websites offering you a cash advance while charging 2356% interest - a short, sharp injection of funds with untold consequences (although, in fairness, a bit of fixture congestion is worse than a £200 loan turning into five grand).
Crystal Palace, who went into administration this week, beat Wolves at Selhurst Park to set up a tie with Aston Villa that should earn them close to half a million pounds. And Notts County, who still face the threat of a winding-up petition, secured an impressive 2-0 win at Premier League Wigan.
County received an even split of the gate receipts from last night's game. Sadly for them, a pathetic crowd of just 5,519 - and rock-bottom ticket prices - meant Sven-Goran Eriksson took around £150 back to the East Midlands with him. He could have had a more lucrative night at the bingo.
At least Fulham take their cups seriously, so County should get a decent payday when they visit Craven Cottage next weekend.
Meanwhile, Portsmouth had to sell two players to ensure the rest of their squad got paid this month. They have no such option next month, and will surely be playing for a replay in their fifth-round derby against Southampton - either that or they will have to go on wonga.com to get the short-term readies.
The Saints, having gone into administration last term, are now bankrolled by a Swiss billionaire. Just to rub their local rivals' noses in it, this week they announced they will not bother with a sponsor on their centenary shirt, for purely aesthetic reasons.
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Robbie Keane, welcome to the (Scottish) Premier League.
Some people might have questioned his move to Celtic, but everybody seemed to agree that he would score an obscene number of goals.
Keane would be a super-charged Marco Negri, banging them in at a rate of five or six a game, waltzing through defences like a big kid at school through a load of seven-year-olds.
Celtic were going to win every game for the rest of the SPL season - most by double figures - and the only question was whether Rangers would drop enough points to let the Bhoys in.
So, inevitably, Keane's first match with the club ended Kilmarnock 1, Celtic 0.
Scotland might not boast the strongest league in the world, but it's not THAT bad. In fact, there is just as much parity in the SPL as the Premier League.
Going into last night's Hull-Chelsea game, both Chelsea and Rangers, respective leaders of their divisions, had 54 points from 23 games. And bottom club Hamilton have 0.81 points per game, comfortably more than Portsmouth's 0.68.
Of course this was only one game, played by a man who had just met his team-mates and who spent most of the previous night in the company of several thousand delirious Glaswegians.
Keane can, and probably will, come good. But last night's match served as something of a reality check.
One man in no need of a reminder how hard life can be north of the border is Tony Mowbray, whose facial furrows become more pronounced and exasperated with each passing day.
Mowbray is a realist, devoid of the bluster and arrogance that comes with most bosses. As such, there is something rather uncomfortable about watching his side flounder.
Celtic are now 10 points behind Rangers, and Mowbray knows full well that even if his side halve that deficit between now and May he will be out of a job.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Carlo Ancelotti - tactician, motivator, marriage counsellor: "If he needs to have a holiday I will give him a holiday." Next time Early Doors wants some unscheduled time off, it will crack on to Cow Corner's missus.
FOREIGN VIEW: Best headline ever, courtesy of Reuters: 'Cabanas has bullet in his head but World Cup on his mind'
All Paraguay forward Salvador Cabanas can think of nine days after being shot in the head is returning to training and getting to the World Cup, the president of his Mexican club America has said.
The 29-year-old Cabanas was shot in a bar in Mexico city in the early hours of January 25 after an argument with another man, according to police, who are still looking for a suspect.
"It's what he's thinking about, he's spoken to the doctor about it and that's very good because it motivates him," America president Michel Bauer told Televisa.
"He already wants to be training, as well as mentioning the subject of the World Cup," he added of the burly forward who played a major role in Paraguay's qualification for their fourth successive finals in South Africa. There are 128 days to the tournament's June 11 kick-off.
Cabanas had a long operation after the incident but surgeons were unable to remove the bullet, which remains lodged in his brain.
COMING UP: FA Cup replay action, and it should be good - Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur from White Hart Lane. Plus we have Fulham v Portsmouth in the Premier League, Blackpool v West Brom in the Championship and Rangers v St Johnstone in the CIS Cup.