Kennedy and the Knights' legal team advised them that the ultimatum had to be set because work on delivering a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) has to start this weekend, or else there would not be enough time to deliver it before the club's money runs out in a few weeks' time.
Duff and Phelps claim to be still evaluating three bids after Bill Miller withdrew his offer on Tuesday, just five days after being named as the preferred bidder. One of those is a London-based group – believed to include four figures each with football director experience – that Craig Whyte is believed to favour. That consortium and Kennedy/the Blue Knights want to save Rangers via a CVA. A Far East consortium, including Singaporean businessman Bill Ng, would try to take them out of administration via a newco. One other party has also been in contact with the administrators.
Although Sale Sharks owner Kennedy has always said he would be there to save Rangers if no other bidder remained, he has become exasperated by Duff & Phelps as the club approaches the end of its third full month in administration. Paul Clark, the joint administrator, has been told that unless preferred bidder status was granted today, Kennedy and the Blue Knights would have no choice but to remove their offer.
Kennedy was also unhappy with comments made by David Whitehouse, the other joint administrator, about Knights' spokesman Paul Murray. Murray said his group had been told their bid met the administrators' demands, only for Whitehouse to deny that. "For David Whitehouse to say otherwise is a slur on the character of Paul Murray," said Kennedy. "Paul doesn't tell lies. The administrators chose the wrong horse when they went with Bill Miller. I wouldn't like to see them make the same mistake again."
In another chaotic day in the Rangers saga, Graeme Souness insisted he had not been approached to front one of the takeover bids and would not be interested in doing so, despite one of the interested parties making it known that he was wanted as a figurehead. Walter Smith has been similarly held up as a possible front for one of the bidders.
Whyte has confirmed he is prepared to transfer his 85.3% shareholding to two of the rival bidders – one of which is understood to be the London-based consortium, and the other Kennedy – and will do so for only £1.
Clark confirmed: "We have continued discussions today with the parties remaining in the bidding process and good progress has been made. We can also confirm that Craig Whyte has confirmed that he will transfer his shareholding to two of the parties and has indicated he would not be an impediment to a sale of the club. We will issue a further update tomorrow and can say that every effort is being made to conclude the sale of the club as quickly as possible."
Kennedy has held talks with Whyte about his shares and Herald Sport understands an agreement similar to that stuck with the English group has been reached.
Rangers' appeal against a one-year transfer embargo will be heard by the SFA next week.