Rangers owner Craig Whyte takes action against BBC

Rangers owner Craig Whyte has defended his business record and insists he has "nothing to be ashamed of" as allegations were made against him in a documentary aired last night.

Whyte instructed his lawyers to begin legal proceedings against the BBC following claims made in the programme, BBC Scotland Investigates: Rangers The Inside Story, which explored his business dealings before he bought the club from Sir David Murray in May.

Speaking in an interview with STV before the BBC documentary aired, Whyte said: "I'm sure the programme that's been made will no doubt make various allegations and it's maybe not going to be flattering about me but I've got nothing to be ashamed of.

"Ultimately, my track record speaks for itself.

"I'm here, I'm the owner of Rangers, I'm the chairman of Rangers and I've done a lot more successful deals than deals that haven't worked out. I think that ultimately speaks for itself."

Regarding the BBC programme, a spokesman for Whyte said last night: "Craig Whyte strenuously refutes these unfounded and defamatory allegations and has instructed his lawyers, Carter Ruck, to commence immediate legal proceedings against the BBC.

"Any repetition of these false accusations will also be met with legal action."

Responding to the statement, a BBC Scotland spokesman said: "We stand by the investigation which was produced according to our rigorous editorial standards on fairness, accuracy and impartiality.

"As the programme BBC Scotland Investigates: Rangers The Inside Story makes clear, Craig Whyte took the opportunity to respond to questions which were put to him during the course of the production."

Earlier this week, Rangers withdrew co-operation with the BBC ahead of the documentary, which the Clydesdale Bank Premier League club described as "little more than a prejudiced muckraking exercise".

However, the BBC strongly rejected claims of bias against the club and insisted the content of the programme was accurate and in the public interest.

Meanwhile, Whyte insists he is doing everything in his power to prevent the club from going into administration.

The Scottish champions are involved in two separate disputes with HM Revenue and Customs, relating to payments before Whyte completed his takeover.

The larger of those cases could leave Rangers facing an estimated tax bill of £49million.

Whyte has always maintained he is confident of winning the case but did address the issue of administration in the interview with STV.

He said: "It's certainly not something that we want to see happen and we are actively doing all we can to avoid it."

He ruled out the possibility of Rangers going under, adding: "There is no chance of Rangers going out of business, no chance whatsoever."

PA

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