It is not how they would have wanted it to happen but they will take it.
Dundee United are champions of the Championship and heading back to the Premiership.
To talk about four years of hurt that followed relegation would be to underplay the agony of it all, the nadir being the penalty shoot-out embarrassment against St Mirren last May.
The decision to bring an early end to their season, finally enacted thanks to Dundee’s U-turn, brought welcome relief to many at the club but also frustration to some who wanted their day of glory on the pitch or party in the stand.
Those Arabs craving a celebration will just have to console themselves that they have, in a way, won the league at Dens again.
Let’s face it, United are worthy champions whatever the circumstances in which they have been crowned.
The league was theirs to lose from day one. They led the way from the curtain-raising demolition of Inverness Caley Thistle at Tannadice on August 3.
We all suspected that, finally, this would be United’s season, the campaign when they put their play-off pain behind them.
There was one big reason for that: Lawrence Shankland.
The former Ayr United striker, so shrewdly acquired by manager Robbie Neilson and sporting director Tony Asghar with considerable help from owner Mark Ogren’s wallet, signalled his intent that summer’s afternoon.
It was Shankland’s home league debut but there were no nerves, was no bedding in period, no softly-softly approach from him.
Instead, he hammered four goals past the Highlanders, the first arriving after only seven minutes. The side that would finish runners-up could only manage one goal in reply. It was a master-class from an instant hero.
When United fans toast this title win – in their houses rather than the pubs and clubs during these incredible times – they will be singing his name louder than any other.
Indeed, as a result of his 28 goals from 33 appearances for the Tangerines, he will be remembered as fondly as many fine players that have gone before him.
For it was he who made United different from the rest of the Championship clubs and, for that, he will be loved.
It wasn’t all one way, of course, with Shankland given a substantial salary and a platform that helped him become a Scotland international. He will also be the likely target of a big-money transfer when the “normal” business of football resumes.
As was mentioned a few times along the way by Neilson, United were not a one-man team. They kept winning without Shankland in the team.
He was the star, though.
Heroes, too, were the fans, who backed Neilson’s men home and away in fabulous numbers.
After that thrilling start against ICT, United beat Partick and Dunfermline on the road.
That set them up nicely for the first Dundee derby of the campaign. United not only won it but the scoreline sent out a message that they intended to boss the division.
Goals from Calum Butcher (two), Louis Appere, a Shankland penalty, Ian Harkes and finally Cammy Smith earned them a 6-2 home victory that matched the 2015 New Year’s Day demolition derby.
Their first defeat came away, a 2-0 loss to Ayr United, but they got back on track with a Shankland salvage job against Arbroath before hitting Morton for six in one of their finest displays of the campaign.
Then came a wobble, in the form of dismal away defeats to first Alloa (1-0) and then Queen of the South (4-0). Questions were asked about their resilience in the wake of those results.
However, the Tangerines answered the doubters in real style.
They went on a nine-game winning run that only ended with a home 1-1 draw against their city rivals in the festive Dundee derby.
Wins against Queens and Thistle, as well as a draw away to Morton, followed before the unbeaten run was halted by a deserved home defeat to Arbroath on the first day of February.
United never hit their early-season heights after that but they won the big one – a 2-1 home victory over second-placed Inverness.
Their last fixture would turn out to be an unremarkable 1-1 draw in front of their own fans at Tannadice on Saturday March 7.
The day before they were due to travel to Cappielow to face Morton, the Scottish season was stopped by the coronavirus.
By then, United were 14 points clear at the top with eight matches to play. They had done enough.
Now they look forward to a future free of Covid-19 and one where they are back where they feel they belong.