Senior RFU figures remain sceptical of the ability of London Irish's prospective buyers to complete a takeover despite them handing the Premiership club a dramatic stay of execution on Tuesday, writes Daily Mail.
But there is now hope the capital-based side can avoid following Worcester and Wasps in dropping out of English rugby's top-flight after they were given a week's extension to complete the deal.
Irish had been told by the RFU they must meet a deadline of 5pm on Tuesday and prove either that the American consortium keen on buying them has the finances to do so or that current owner Mick Crossan would be able to fund the team for next season.
MailSport revealed on Tuesday that English rugby's governing body had extended their deadline for the takeover completion by a further seven days.
The RFU did not officially confirm the extension but will do so today after a crunch meeting of its financial viability group last night.
The RFU also demanded confirmation Irish's players and staff would be paid their latest monthly salaries – due today – while their jobs remain uncertain.
Crossan has agreed to once again fund payroll.
It means Irish have been given an 11th hour reprieve although it is still far from certain their prospective buyers will be able to finalise the takeover in the extra time handed to them given they have previously failed to tick the right RFU boxes in the last two months or more.
A letter to Irish's players, which has been seen by MailSport, spelled out the uncertainty still facing Declan Kidney's squad and the staff at the club.
'The hope is the aforementioned information surrounding the funds will provide Mick with the comfort and backstop that the funds are in place from the investors' side and he can do what he needs to do in the meantime to sustain us,' the letter read.
'Appreciate we are still working on verbal assurances here and not cold hard facts but we are at the deadline now. We have no further room for manoeuvre.
'My gut feeling is it would be very strange to be providing these assurances if the wheels weren't well in motion to getting it (the takeover) done.'
Read full story via Daily Mail.