Crisis-hit Scottish giants Rangers' appeal against a £160,000 fine and 12-month transfer embargo imposed by the Scottish Football Association has been rejected by an Appellate Tribunal, the SFA confirmed on Wednesday.
The decision will come as a crushing blow to the consortium headed by former Sheffield United chief executive Charles Green who had an offer to buy the club accepted last Sunday.
Administrators were called in to Rangers on 14 February after British tax authorities went to court to seek payment of an unpaid bill that had built up since current owner Craig Whyte took charge at Ibrox in May last year.
Entering administration meant Rangers were docked 10 points - a move that effectively handed the SPL title to arch Glasgow rivals Celtic, who were crowned champions.
However, worse was to follow on 23 April when the SFA hit Rangers with a £160,000 (€195,000) fine and the transfer embargo after finding the club guilty of several financial offences.
They also issued a lifetime ban to Whyte from any future involvement in Scottish football.
The administrators immediately appealed the decision saying it could hinder chances of finding a new owner for the club.