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â€¢ Owner says calling administrators was ‘right thing to do’
â€¢ Whyte: ‘I have not taken a penny out of Rangers’
The Rangers owner, Craig Whyte, said he is “100% confident” administrators will prove that all money that has come in and gone out of the club during his tenure has been properly accounted for.
In a statement released on Friday, the Ibrox chairman claimed safeguarding the future of the Scottish champions remains his intention. Whyte said he fully understands fans’ anxiety after Rangers were forced to call in administrators on Tuesday.
“The decision to call in the administrators was painful but it was the right thing to do,” he said. “They have promised to publish a full report as soon as possible and I very much welcome that. In spite of the endless speculation and attempts at character assassination by certain sections of the media, I am 100% confident that the administrators’ report will prove that every penny that has come in and gone out of Rangers has been properly accounted for.
“And I wish to state categorically for the record now that I personally have not taken a single penny out of Rangers since I became chairman and have paid all my expenses from my own funds.”
The former chairman Alastair Johnston has written to the Crown Office to call for an investigation into Whyte’s takeover of the club. Johnston was in the Rangers chair in May last year, at the time Whyte bought Sir David Murray’s majority stake for Â£1.
Johnston’s private scepticism at the time of that deal has developed into increasingly formal and public action. Last week he wrote to the government’s Intelligence and Enforcement Directorate to seek investigation into Whyte’s Rangers acquisition.
In a statement given to the Guardian on Thursday evening, Johnston said: “I have today written to the Crown Office asking for an investigation into the background surrounding the acquisition of Rangers by Craig Whyte and in particular whether there is evidence of fraud.”
Strathclyde police said: “We have been passed information regarding the ongoing situation at Rangers. This is currently being examined and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
However, in his statement Whyte responded: “Again, I have absolutely nothing to fear because any fair investigation will prove that I have always acted in the best interests of Rangers and been involved in no criminal wrongdoing whatsoever. While the administrators get on with their work, it is only right that they are given the time and space they require to complete their task.”