Burnley show the way forward
At Wembley Stadium.
Read and slowly reread - Burnley are a Premier League side.
It might take some getting used to over the next few weeks and it might be an unlikely story - but it is true and, in my opinion, fully deserved.
It is a victory for attractive football, the players who have worked so hard, their inspirational manager and for the supporters of Burnley who turned out in great numbers at Wembley on Monday - but also for hundreds of thousands of fans of other Football League clubs.
For in ending their 33-year exile from the top flight of English football - a time during which the game has been transformed beyond all recognition - the Clarets have given hope to supporters all over the country.
Their promotion says that you don't have to be the richest, the best supported or the most fashionable to climb the heights that every club is desperate to scale.
If you are well run, appoint the right manager who builds a squad rich in both experience and talented youngsters - and if you are united by an ambition and togetherness that will insulate you during the bad times and allow you to flourish in the good - then you can defy expectations and reach the promised land of the Premier League.
Burnley played 61 games in the 2008-09 season, came within minutes of reaching the Carling Cup final and, despite using just 23 players, lasted the distance to deservedly win the play-off final against Sheffield United.
Everything they achieved they did playing an attractive, ambitious brand of football. Whenever I saw them they were not afraid to express themselves, playing with a vim and verve that won them many friends. It was the case when they defeated the likes of West Brom, Fulham, Arsenal and Chelsea - and again during Monday's final at a Wembley reverberating to the sound of fans reveling in the occasion.
Wade Elliott caught the eye with his surging runs from midfield and his glorious winning strike that arced beautifully into the top corner. But he was far from alone. In Martin Paterson, Steven Thompson, Robbie Blake, Chris Eagles and Jay Rodriguez the Clarets showed they have a rich blend of youth, exuberance and experience in an attacking line allied by one crucial ingredient - flair.
Their impressive manager Owen Coyle would not have it any other way. I had a long chat with him a couple of weeks ago. The key concepts that came up again and again were his infectious enthusiasm for the game and his desire to see attacking football played on the ground.
If you speak to his players they all say the same thing - that the Scot, who was appointed in November 2007, sends his teams out without fear and convinced they can win.
"You have to believe and the gaffer is the biggest believer in that changing room," veteran Graham Alexander told me after his seventh play-off campaign had finally ended in success.
"He wants us to concentrate on ourselves. It is about us - what we do with the ball and when we are without the ball. That is what the manager concentrates on day in, day out, in training."
Alexander has been a professional footballer since 1991 and has made more than 800 appearances for four clubs but he has never played a top-flight game of football.
His last play-off final was in 2005 when he came on as a substitute for Preston in their 1-0 defeat to West Ham at the Millennium Stadium. He was 33 then and must have thought he would never play Premier League football.
Alexander left for Burnley in 2007 and has since been remoulded as a holding midfielder by Coyle. The veteran has played with an almost demonic desire to succeed over the last few weeks, barking orders to his team-mates, arms pointing this way and that. I cannot think of any player who is more deserving of a crack at the big time.
Robbie Blake, at 33, is another old head in Burnley's team. Bottle of beer in one hand, tie hanging very loosely around his neck, the tricky winger was another Claret basking in the glory of victory.
Blake said that Coyle was so infectious that his players would run through walls for him.
And he revealed that Burnley's play-off victory was the realisation of a pledge that a group of players made after the Clarets came within two minutes of reaching the Carling Cup final.
"I knew we would win," Blake told me. "We knew it would a be fairytale - we can say it now but when we got beat against Tottenham we as a group took so much positivity out of the game. We said then that we were going to go on and get promotion.
"You have to be in the dressing room to believe how much togetherness we have. This is the greatest achievement of my career."
Togetherness is perhaps the critical factor at Burnley, the certain something that has allowed them to become more than the sum of their parts. That and the trust Coyle has in his players.
"I thought we were worth more than one goal but even when it did not come I did not panic - I trust them implicitly," said a remarkably composed Coyle afterwards. A teetotaler, he had a soft drink in his hand and resisted all advances to try some champagne, joking that his players would compensate with the amount they consumed.
Coyle succinctly placed in context the scale of Burnley's achievement. He said that their wage bill is one of the lowest in the division, the average attendance at Turf Moor is in the region of a modest 13,000 and estimated that although he had spent £2.75m in players he had brought in more from the sales of Andy Gray to Charlton and Kyle Lafferty to Rangers.
There are less than 80,000 people in Burnley and it is one of the smallest towns ever to reach the Premier League. But as long-standing chairman Barry Kilby pointed out Burnley is a "proper football town" and its citizens have rejoiced in their team's exploits.
The effect of the team's push for the Premier League has been noticeable in all sectors. Crime is apparently down, while doctors are reporting a reduction in the number of patients coming to see them. After the Clarets play-off victory over Reading I watched an article on television showing supporters queuing around Turf Moor for final tickets. One elderly supporter promised viewers the town would "explode" if they secured promotion.
Undoubtedly the success of the football team is proving to be a most welcome and soothing tonic when the economy offers little scope for optimism.
It is a time of almost indescribable excitement for Burnley and its football team.
Coyle described the Premier League as the most exciting and best league in the world. He now has the chance to test himself against some of the world's best managers and his players to compete against some of the planet's finest footballers.
The Clarets boss, a son of Glasgow, is apparently an early frontrunner to succeed Gordon Strachan as Celtic manager. He insisted his only focus is on the job at Burnley but the his achievements are unlikely to go unnoticed.
As things stand, however, Coyle will sit down with Kilby in the next few days and start planning the future.
Nobody quite knows what it will hold because the Clarets are on entirely new ground - and the proud people of Burnley can wake up on Tuesday coming to terms with their new-found status.