RANGERS have no chance of playing in Europe next season – despite a claim from within the club that an appeal to do so had been submitted to the SFA.

In a confusing, contradictory day around the Ibrox club, it emerged that administrators Duff & Phelps wanted to keep a route open to European football, apparently in an attempt to make Rangers more attractive to potential buyers.

Their deadline for takeover bids is 5pm today and Duff & Phelps expect at least four offers.

They have also been made aware of renewed interest from Brian Kennedy, whose initial bid was rejected last week, and the Sale Sharks owner is expected to make a revised offer today which could take the number of bidders to five.

All Rangers' creditors will learn Duff & Phelps' view on the various bids tomorrow when the firm uploads a progress report on to the club website.

But yesterday the administrators, who said an undisclosed West Bromwich Albion bid for striker Steven Naismith had been rejected, revealed that an unsuccessful attempt had been made to secure a licence to play in Europe next season.

However, clubs cannot "apply" to play in Europe – the representatives are picked at the SFA's discretion – and they have to meet the necessary Uefa criteria. Rangers do not.

They fall short on two of the conditions of Uefa's Club Licence guidelines. They did not submit audited accounts with the SFA by the deadline of March 31 and nor had they met all their outstanding tax liabilities by that date.

Duff & Phelps had held discussions with Uefa, the SFA and SPL about playing in Europe next season and also about the punishments to be expected if Rangers went through liquidation and emerged as a reformed, 'newco' club.

But the hope for clemency or any dispensation from the SFA was especially pointless given Rangers face outstanding charges of bringing the game into disrepute and improper conduct, partially for missing the deadline for audited accounts.

The value of European football to the administrators, as a selling point, is obvious. Gate receipts and broadcasting income from any qualifying ties would provide precious funds for any of the potential new owners and their financial landscape would change enormously if Rangers made it through to the Champions League group stage.

But the Uefa rules offer them no encouragement. Article 47 of Uefa's Club Licensing guidelines states: "Each licence applicant is required to provide a copy of its audited annual financial statements as defined in respect of the statutory closing date prior to the deadline for submission of the application to the SFA and prior to the deadline for submission of the list of licensing decisions to Uefa.

"Audited financial statements must include the auditor's report. The auditor must be independent."