The Glasgow giants face being thrown into Scotland's Third Division if they head into liquidation and re-form as a new club.
But Sky has a financial gun to the head of the SPL: the Daily Record claims that the broadcaster will pull the plug on its £110 million deal to show Scottish football if Rangers head into the fourth tier.
Sky's deal only makes financial sense because of the immense commercial value of the four Old Firm derbies each season - and it is not prepared to keep the agreement in place for the minimum three seasons it would take Rangers to win promotion back to the SPL.
"No Rangers equals no Sky, unless Gers are back very soon," a source at the broadcaster told the Daily Record. "It's just not going to be commercially worth it if it's going to be any longer than 12 months with no Old Firm league games."
The threat leaves SPL club chiefs in a dilemma: the TV deal is the financial lifeblood of Scottish football, yet the clubs - and particularly their fans - want to see Rangers punished for their woeful mismanagement.
Only eight of the 12 SPL clubs need to vote for relegation to throw Rangers down the leagues, and fans are threatening to boycott their clubs if their chairmen dole out too soft a punishment. Yet the Daily Record claims half of the clubs in the SPL would go out of business without the TV cash.
A date for the SPL's debate, and vote on Rangers' relegation, is set to be scheduled for the next few days with the matter due to be settled by mid-July - and a compromise of a one-division (and therefore probably one-year) relegation looks like the preferred option.