Cutting a long story short, the original plan was to be
1) employed as a research staff, and do research on a full-time basis
2) turning into a part-time phd student while using the research as the research project for the phd
As such, I turned down all other offers... sort of...
Everything else looked perfect. My qualifications were sufficient to meet the entry requirements.
But I forgot something. I have a co-ownership of a tuition centre. I declared that in the application form, and now I'm told it is not allowed, and I have to relinquish the tuition centre to be employed as their full-time research staff. Granted, this is the protocol for most other companies. It is probably fair.
I don't run the day to day operations of the centre, so I do have some spare time, which was one of the considerations on whether to apply for a PhD. But looking at how things are progressing, instead of relinquishing the tuition centre, I will probably choose to relinquish the PhD instead of appealing against the requirement, and start other businesses instead. I don't want to give up working with students, helping them score, and looking at their faces of joy and glee when they finally understood a concept that was Greek to them before. It is little things like these that make both life and work interesting.
It's a hard decision to make, hopefully I won't regret it.