Just another delay in the strife of Rangers; GERS IN CRISIS: TOP 12 PLAY A WAITING GAME SPL postpone vote that could pile on pain.
EVEN Ally McCoist admits in the real world Rangers should be punished by the SPL.
Trouble is, if the top-flight clubs hammer the Ibrox club it will be akin to taking a penknife to their own arms.
And self-harming wasn't on the agenda when the top 12 met at Hampden yesterday morning.
They were meant to vote on increasing sanctions to clubs in administration or those who may be liquidated and form a newco but, when push came to shove, they backed off.
They voted to leave it another week and next Monday they will reconvene to make decisions that could yet have far-reaching consequences for our game.
But who knows how the landscape will have changed by May 7? This Rangers story shifts by the hour so by the time the representatives haul up their seats to the big oval table in the SPL boardroom, it is impossible to predict the circumstances upon which they will be voting.
One thing is for sure, though. The SPL did not have the stomach for a fight with Gers yesterday - not in the aftermath of the reaction to the sanctions imposed on them by the SFA's judicial panel.
PROPOSALS That pounds 160,000 fine and 12-month transfer embargo are the subject of an appeal which could be decided before next Monday, giving the SPL clubs further clarity before they sit down to make their own decisions.
On the table are proposals that would mean any club going into administration will start the following season with a 15-point penalty or minus a third of the points they accumulate in the previous term.
But it is not retrospective and would not affect Rangers, who are already in administration.
Eight of the 12 clubs would have to vote in favour of the change to put it on the SPL statute book.
They will also have to decide if a newco should be punished with 10-point penalties at the start of each of the next two seasons - and have to accept a loss of 75 percent of SPL revenue for three seasons.
That would affect Rangers if the club is liquidated and a newco is formed after the end of the season. The Ibrox club believe such sanctions would leave them in an impossible situation, particularly if the SFA punishment is not lifted, and Record Sport understands it would almost certainly trigger a boycott of away grounds by their fans next season.
Taking Celtic out of the equation, the other 10 clubs would have to think long and hard about the financial implications such action would have on their ability to pay their own bills.
REASONABLE It adds up to a nightmare scenario for the league, which is damned if it brings in new sanctions and damned by non-Rangers fans if it doesn't.
SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster had no answers to offer when he spoke inside Hampden in the wake of yesterday's meeting.
Doncaster insisted that a further one-week delay - and a refusal to guarantee a vote would be taken next Monday - was perfectly reasonable behaviour.
He said: "The fact the Rangers administrators welcomed this adjournment demonstrates that everyone believes this was the right course of action.
"There is a need to approach these important issues with a full understanding of the picture and that picture is still emerging at Ibrox.
"There are also other clubs who are concerned about how these rules might affect them so this is not just about one club but all 12 members. And they welcomed the opportunity to take further time to think about their position.
"It wasn't a question of us putting it forward and the clubs reluctantly agreeing.
"It was proposed by one of our members - not Rangers - and everyone else agreed that was the right way to deal with this. I'm not going to make any predictions about a preferred bidder being in place next week.
"That's Duff and Phelps' role. Our role is to have discussions with the preferred bidder once they are put in front of us.
"We have a job to do and that starts properly when we receive notification from administrators as to what their preference is.
CONCERNED "If it's a CVA our involvement is minimal. Clearly, if they bring forward an application to transfer a share to a newco then our involvement is greater. But this remains about Duff and Phelps and the bidders."
Doncaster insisted the SPL have to get it right for every club, adding: "People are concerned to do the right thing for Scottish football and to put in place a set of rules which work for all 12 members and aren't merely applicable to one club.
"Ultimately, these rules will apply to everyone going forward. That's our over-riding concern."
Doncaster admitted that the uncertainty over Rangers' future isn't helping the league, which loses the Clydesdale Bank at the end of next season, on the sponsorship front.
He added: "We still have another season with Clydesdale Bank who will exit in the summer of 2013. So discussions remain ongoing.
"Having clarity going forward would be helpful to everyone. Not merely to ourselves but to all 12 clubs. To understand what the league looks like next season would be helpful.
"We are only two weeks before the end of the season so ultimately it's important that things do happen as soon as possible. It would be helpful to have firm rules in place by the start of next term.
"It's important any club starting the season has clarity over how they are going to be dealt with.
"It's difficult to change these sorts of rules within a season and that's the reason why the proposals on the table would have taken effect on the first day after the current campaign.
DEBTS "The view to strengthen the financial fair play rules is widely agreed with by the clubs. But quite how they are amended and how they are moved forward needs further work."
The SPL did agree to strengthen financial disclosure requirements that are designed to make sure clubs have no outstanding debts due to any league rival as of December 31 in any year.
WAITING GAME J SPL chief Doncaster, left, and Campbell Ogilvie of the SFA, far left, arrive at Hampden but, from top, Peter Lawwell, Rod Petrie and the Gers administrators all drive out none the wiser