Administrators in charge of Southampton remain hopeful of selling the stricken club despite the withdrawal of the Matt Le Tissier-backed Pinnacle consortium.
Joint administrator Mark Fry said last week he may have to begin winding up Southampton on Friday if a buyer is not found.
However, Monday's sale of striker David McGoldrick to Nottingham Forest, for an estimated Â£1million, means wages can again be paid and has given Saints a stay of execution, albeit a brief one.
Le Tissier blamed the failure of the takeover bid on being unable to come to a satisfactory agreement with the Football League over the 10-point penalty Saints were hit with after their holding company entered administration last season.
Pinnacle's initial deadline was June 19, when their three-week period of exclusivity came to an end, since when Fry has opened the field to further bidders.
Two overseas consortia, one believed to be Swiss, are still in the running to save the club - but time is running out.
A statement from administrators Begbies Traynor read: "The joint administrators are not surprised by the withdrawal of the Pinnacle Group from the acquisition of Southampton Football Club.
"It has previously been stated that the administrators were not prepared to extend the period of exclusivity that had been granted to the Pinnacle Group and that had expired on 19 June 2009.
"Immediately following the expiry of the exclusivity period, the administrators re-engaged in discussions with other parties that had previously expressed serious interest.
"We remain hopeful that a sale of the football club will be completed within a very short period of time. We appreciate that the sale may appear to have been protracted but it is a complex transaction which involves numerous stakeholders and a satisfactory solution for all parties is not simple to achieve."
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