Rangers owner Craig Whyte confident accounts are in order

 

Rangers owner Craig Whyte 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 to Press Association Sport, the Ibrox chairman also claims the safeguarding of the future of the Scottish champions remains his intention.

Whyte says he fully understands fans' anxiety after Rangers were forced to call in the administrators on Tuesday.

Whyte said he would not be attending tomorrow's match against Kilmarnock, to avoid becoming a distraction to the team.

Duff and Phelps were appointed on Tuesday after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) forced the issue in the Court of Session in a bid to secure payment of £9million in PAYE and VAT, a debt accrued during Whyte's tenure.

Whyte purchased Sir David Murray's majority shareholding in the club in May.

In a statement today, Whyte said: "When I took over as majority shareholder of Rangers in May last year, I knew I had been handed a huge privilege - and an enormous responsibility.

"My intention then was to do everything I could to safeguard the club's future. And that remains my intention today.

"The traumatic events of the last few days have, understandably, led to a great deal of angst and uncertainty as well as firestorm of media speculation, much of it ill-formed and some of it downright malicious.

"That an internationally-renowned institution such as Rangers should find itself in administration is bound to create shockwaves, particularly among the club's magnificently-loyal fans, and I fully understand their anxiety.

"As chairman, I have been at the centre of this firestorm - and quite rightly so.

"I knew when I stepped up to take over the club that the challenge of restoring Rangers to financial health after many years of living well beyond its means would be daunting.

"But I accepted it, both as a life-long Rangers fan and as a businessman with experience in turning round companies in distress.

"The decision to call in the administrators was painful but it was the right thing to do.

"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."

It emerged last night that former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston has written to the Crown Office asking for an investigation into the background surrounding the acquisition of the club by Whyte.

Whyte said: "Today I learned that my predecessor, Alastair Johnston, has urged the Crown Office to order an investigation into my takeover of the club.

"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 wrong-doing whatsoever."

Whyte stated he will "take a step back" from Rangers during the administration process.

Whyte said: "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.

"That is why I have decided to take a step back from events so that I do not become a distraction to either that process or to Ally McCoist and the players.

"Regrettably, I will not be attending tomorrow's match against Kilmarnock.

"Although I would dearly love to be at Ibrox for the game, my priority is, and will continue to be, to assist the administrators in any way I can to bring this process to as speedy a conclusion as possible.

"Painful though it is for all concerned, administration now gives Rangers a fighting chance - a welcome breathing space - to fix major structural problems that will allow the club to grow and prosper again both on and off the field.

"So I send Ally McCoist and the team my very best wishes for tomorrow.

"And I will end by simply saying to Rangers fans: I know that tomorrow you will prove why you are the best football fans in the world."

PA

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