Portsmouth's future will be resolved by 19 April after the high court granted an order for the club's case to be heard, but the ownership saga could yet take another twist after it was claimed the Football League has "softened" its stance towards another bidder.
The administrators for Portsmouth, PKF, informed Mr Justice Sales that "correspondence has been exchanged between the Football League and Portpin which seems to lead to some ambiguity with the League's previous statements that no other bid would be considered at this late stage".
However, the Football League reiterated that it is in favour of the Portsmouth Supporters Trust bid. A spokesman said: "As stated after its most recent meeting, the board of the Football League is not considering alternative applications for the transfer of Portsmouth's share in the Football League. Instead, it remains focussed on a successful transfer of share to the preferred bidder, the Pompey Supporters Trust."
Portpin, the former owners of the club led by Balram Chainrai, are battling against the PST who are attempting to force a sale of the club through the court. However, PST's takeover is conditional on the group taking control of Fratton Park, which it values at £3m rather than Chainrai's figure of £10m.
The valuation of the stadium will be decided in court by 19 April, when PST hopes to secure a landmark takeover, but matters could yet be complicated by a rival bid from the football financier Keith Harris.
Harris' initial offer was rejected by the Football League as it would "create further uncertainty", with Portsmouth facing the possibility of being thrown out of the League if the issue is not resolved by the end of the season.
A revised offer was tabled by Harris that would see fans given a free 15% stake in the club, but this was also rejected. PKF, though, now say the League wrote to their solicitors and Portpin late on Wednesday with an "ambiguous" letter that PKF claimed "may represent a softening in their stance".
"We are pressing ahead with the case that is seeking the court's consent for the disposal of Fratton Park to the PST," said a statement. "The court was also made aware that correspondence has been exchanged between the Football League and Portpin which seems to lead to some ambiguity with the League's previous public statements that no other bid would be considered at this late stage. We will be seeking clarification from the League as a matter of urgency."
The court date for what should be the final hearing in the case will be confirmed in the next few days, and there is the possibility it may be before 19 April, although PKF do not expect a hearing before Easter.
Ashley Brown, chairman of the PST, said: "We are pleased our bid is proceeding. As presented in court today our bid is fully funded and ready to go and we hope a date can be found in the near future to resolved this matter so the Trust can start the job of rebuilding the club.
"The Football League has also cleared up any confusion by making it clear for a third time that it will only consider a bid from PST."