Craig Whyte: I was not to blame for Rangers' financial collapse but I have regrets

Craig Whyte insists he was not to blame for Rangers’ financial collapse but admits his decision to buy the club for £1 remains his biggest regret.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 5:53 pm

Whyte acquired the majority shareholding from David Murray for the paltry sum exactly 10 years ago in exchange for taking on debts of around £18 million amid the prospect of an impending tax bill.

Under Whyte's ownership, Rangers went into administration and then liquidation in 2012, with the club subsequently forced to restart in the bottom tier of the SPFL.

Despite being found not guilty in the High Court two years ago of taking over Rangers by fraudulent means, Whyte remains persona non grata with the Ibrox support.

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Former Rangers chairman Craig Whyte at Ibrox

But in an interview with the BBC, the 50-year-old businessman claimed he was not at fault for the events that unfolded following his ill-fated takeover on May 6, 2011.

"I don't believe I did anything wrong," he said.

"I was not responsible for the build-up of tax debt that caused HMRC to pursue Rangers.

"I was the guy who was there when it went wrong but I wasn't the person who caused the problem."

On his reasons for taking over the club, he added: "I thought it was a good opportunity to make a profit.

"It's hard to believe it is 10 years but I remember when I was first asked to have a look at it.

"It seemed like a good idea at the time but clearly it turned out not to be."

It was only after his arrival when it emerged Whyte had sold future season ticket income to Ticketus, a London investment firm, for around £24 million to finance his takeover. The promise of investment in Ally McCoist’s first team squad failed to materialise.

"I should have been more open with the fans and the media," he said.

"I should have disclosed the funding method on day one - by not doing that I gave the media and the fans ammunition to throw at me."

Describing his time at Ibrox as a “nightmare”, Whyte added: "I think it's fair to say that the whole experience, from start to finish, from walking into Ibrox on that first day, to being acquitted at the High Court, was the most traumatic experience of my life, for sure."

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