As European leagues serve up footballing feasts to finish off their seasons, one of the most important matches in years will soon take place without any spectators.
Beginning on Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is expected to take three days to hear Manchester City's appeal against the two-year Champions League ban brutally dished out to them by UEFA on Valentine's Day - and the stakes could hardly be higher for either side and what they have come to represent.
City's principal concern is clearing their name. They have insisted from the outset they have done things by the book, and have told players, coaches and staff they are confident the independent review will fall in their favour.
The club have barely commented during the length of the investigation - indeed, they went to CAS before a sentence had been reached to dispute media leaks - but club CEO Ferran Soriano used the in-house TV channel to refute the claim they had not co-operated and add their feelings about the case.
"We delivered a long list of documents and support that we believe is irrefutable evidence that the claims are not true," he said in February, "and it was hard because we did this in the context of information being leaked to the media in the context of feeling that every step of the way, every engagement we had, we felt that we were considered guilty before anything was even discussed.
"At the end, this is an internal process that has been initiated and then prosecuted and then judged by this FFP chamber at UEFA."
City feel they have been singled out - "Where were you when we were s***?" asked a banner recently produced by the 1894 Group - but while the club is fighting to maintain the position it has built under Sheikh Mansour's ownership it is also a symbol of the new-money clubs looking to fight their way into what can appear like a closed shop of the European elite. Anger between supporters and UEFA started well before Financial Fair Play was introduced.
Any upholding of City's ban will be seen by many as a victory for the establishment clubs that UEFA is fighting to maintain control over.
Javier Tebas, president of La Liga, and Bayern Munich bosses have been critical of the Blues for many years going back to Roberto Mancini's time in charge at the Etihad and Europe's top clubs will be waiting on the appeal verdict with a vested interest as they look to enhance their own position and knock down a rival.
If the original decision holds, that will maintain the integrity of FFP but also UEFA's authority over European clubs at a time when a breakaway Super League to challenge or take the place of the Champions League feels like a case of when rather than if.
City's domestic rivals are also interested parties. For eight of the top ten clubs in England to try and involve themselves in the CAS hearing when it was unlikely to carry any legal relevance shows that.
The Premier League have their own ongoing investigation into the Blues and could inflict further punishment but are reserving their judgment until CAS reaches a decision.
If the initial verdict was a slap down, City have been given what they since asked for: an independent review where they can present their evidence and explain why they should not be banned from UEFA competitions with a decision well before next season even if it is not expected immediately.
If the 2019 appetiser in the courts is anything to go by - when the gloves were anything but on as the club sought damages and were told by senior UEFA official Yves Leterme that their allegations were 'groundless and unacceptable in tone' - then a behind-closed-doors blockbuster can be expected.
And if neither side can know for sure what will happen in the virtual courtroom, they can both be certain that the decision will have far-reaching consequences for football that extend well beyond Manchester and Nyon.