Rangers, £177million in debt and lumbered with a wage bill bigger than Atletico Madrid's, now stand 90 minutes away from a return to the riches of the Premier League thanks to Charlie Austin's 96th-minute winner.
The Hoops yet again put their chairman through the wringer, trailing to James Perch's early strike until the 72nd minute when Austin sent the tie into extra time from the penalty spot.
And when the final whistle blew, Fernandes punched the air, danced and hugged everyone in the vicinity of the directors' box as the fans who invaded the pitch chanted his name.
The celebrations continued in the dressing room with defender Danny Simpson revealing: "He came through with a big smile on his face. He was buzzing.
"He has put a lot of faith in us, trust in us, and is always supporting us. That win was for him, he has been top class.
"Hopefully we can go one extra step for him and get him back in the Premier League because he is a top man. I have not had much interaction with chairmen over the years but he gets involved with the lads. We want to put a smile on his face again at Wembley."
Standing in Rangers' way at Wembley will be a Derby side rejuvenated under Steve McClaren and who ruthlessly dispatched Brighton 6-2 over two legs.
"It's going to be a tough game," added Simpson. "But if we can show that team spirit, desire and work rate, it's going to be a special day.
"This was the toughest fixture of the two semis, we got though it. The lads put in such hard work over the two games. We proved over those two games that every one of us wants to get back in the Premier League.
"Even when they went 1-0 up, we were on top. Sometimes your head can go down but that lifted us. We got stronger and stronger."