Rangers have been all but ruled out of European competition next season after their administrators admitted there was "no realistic prospect" of them securing a licence.
Joint administrator Paul Clark vowed to seek special dispensation from the football authorities - they must apply to the Scottish Football Association, who use UEFA rules to determine whether licences are issued. But he added that the stewardship of Craig Whyte had left Rangers with almost no chance of meeting the criteria before the March 31 deadline.
Clark said: "As regards the club playing in European competitions next season, there is no realistic prospect of the club being able to fulfil its obligations prior to the March 31 deadline set by UEFA."
Clark outlined four major reasons for the assertion before suggesting there was hope of Rangers competing in Europe next term. He said: "As administrators, we will make every effort to seek dispensation from the footballing authorities given the extraordinary circumstances in which the club has been placed."
However, it is understood there can be no special dispensation if the required financial criteria, stipulated by UEFA, are not met. Next term will, therefore, almost certainly be the first time Rangers have not participated in European competition since the 1980-81 season.
Duff and Phelps announced they were "accelerating" the sale of the club after failing to finalise a wage-reduction agreement with players that would have limited redundancies in return for cuts of 75% for the highest earners.
They had been optimistic of success after failing to finalise personal details with about half a dozen players last night but no deal emerged today and administrators then delivered a stark warning about the scale of the club's financial problems.
The dramatic confession over the dangers of not fulfilling their final nine Clydesdale Bank Premier League fixtures came after Ibrox director Dave King claimed liquidation was "inevitable".
Joint-administrator David Whitehouse said: "The club is in a perilous financial situation and that should not be under-estimated. Regrettably, we have been unable to agree cost-cutting measures with the playing staff on terms that will preserve value in the business. We understand the players' position as the scale of wage cuts required to achieve these savings without job losses were very substantial indeed.
"In view of this, we are faced with a situation of making redundancies within the playing staff on such a scale that would materially erode the value of the playing squad. We are striving to strike a balance where cost-cutting measures can be implemented but do not destroy the fabric of the playing squad to the extent that it will inhibit the prospect of a sale."