Rangers were once more on the brink last night after another chapter of sensational events left fans bemused and the Scottish football authorities reeling.
The alarm bells which had begun to ring at the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish FA about the bid from Bill Miller, the American tow-truck magnate, were confirmed when he pulled out of the running late yesterday afternoon.
However, three other bidders have made their presence known. Singaporean businessman Bill Ng is back in contention, as well as a UK-based consortium with Scots on board as the clock ticks down to a deadline which will see Rangers run out of cash by the end of the month.
One of the three appears to have proposed a deal worth close to the £11.6m offered by Miller.
Brian Kennedy and the Blue Knights consortium were not thought to be in the frame last night.
Just last Thursday, Paul Clark and David Whitehouse -- who represent the administrators, Duff and Phelps, at Ibrox -- declared Miller to be their preferred bidder, although he had not paid the £500,000 exclusivity fee which had been requested.
On Monday, the other 11 SPL clubs agreed to a request by the administrators to postpone until May 30 their deliberations about proposed rules and sanctions to deal with clubs undergoing insolvency events.
But by that stage, Miller was coming to the conclusion that the purchase of Rangers was worth neither his time nor his money.
In the meantime, both the SPL and the SFA had become alarmed that there had been almost no dialogue with Miller's advisers for the better part of two weeks.
When Miller and his people carried out their due diligence they were unimpressed by details which had not, according to them, been available.
Miller issued a statement in which he claimed that he had also been influenced by the negative response to his bid from sections of the Rangers support -- he quoted "Yank go home!" as a typical reaction -- but his decision was based on examination of the income and expenditure streams. (© Daily Telegraph, London)