Rangers forward Steven Naismith admits there is growing frustration within the dressing room as off-field problems remain unresolved with the end of the season looming.
Players agreed to take wage cuts of up to 75% in March until the end of the campaign in a bid to avoid widespread redundancies and had wanted to see a glimmer of hope in terms of the club's recovery in the meantime.
But the survival chances were dealt a major blow this week when preferred bidder Bill Miller informed administrators he was withdrawing his offer for the stricken Glasgow giants, albeit Duff and Phelps say they are now evaluating three other bids.
Naismith - out of action since suffering cruciate ligament damage in October - said: "It's a blow in some respects that we are back to square one and there is no preferred bidder.
"We just hope it can be done. The biggest feeling with the players is definitely frustration.
"When we took the pay cuts, we hoped that come the end of the season it would be cleared up and we would be on the road back to where we want to be.
"It's obviously turned out not to be the case."
He added: "I don't think anybody can believe how bad it's been.
"We've not had a great end to the season but the players have got to take credit for the way they started the season before any troubles started. That's what has got to drive us forward.
"But it has turned into a mess off the pitch and that's something that us, as players, don't know anything about and don't have much to do with.
"Our port of call is the manager and throughout administration the manager has kept us up to date with everything we need to know. That's all that we can ask as players."
Naismith believes any new owner will have to understand the significance of the 140-year-old institution they are taking on.
He said: "I think anybody taking over the club will quickly know that to so many people it isn't just a job.
"It isn't just a club they go to watch on a Saturday - it is so much more.
"I don't think anybody interested in the club wouldn't know that - or wouldn't find out very quickly."
If a buyer opts for a 'newco' route - as was favoured by Miller - Rangers could be forced to drop down to the Irn-Bru Third Division if denied re-entry to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
But Naismith has yet to even consider a situation that manager Ally McCoist believes would have a detrimental effect on other top-flight clubs.
He said: "I've not really spoken about it much and I don't think any of the other players have. It's just ifs and buts."
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