3 Apr 2012

Whyte: Gers liquidation ‘absolutely unnecessary’

Exclusive: I’m just off the phone to the ever-loquacious Craig Whyte.

He was driving, but nevertheless very happy to talk.

First off, he describes the story flying around Glasgow, that he has agreed to sell his 85 per cent stake in Rangers to Paul Murray, as “absolute crap”.

He said this was not about to happen and reiterated his point, made to me some days ago, that he is not about to walk away from Rangers without the £30m he is owed for his stake.

Read more: SPL boss says rules are applied ‘without fear nor favour’

He described any liquidation of Rangers as “absolutely unnecessary”.

He said: “What I want to see here is a company voluntary agreement (CVA) as a way out of administration, to preserve the company and the club. I believe that is what fans wish to see, and that is certainly what I wish to see.”

(Click on the picture above for more on the Rangers tax crisis)

I put it to him that given the debt Rangers could face, only an oligarch or Gulf sheik could stump up the £80m-odd required to kick a football in earnest at Ibrox. He replied: “It doesn’t necessarily come down to that. All Rangers has to do is live in future within its means, and then it has a future.

“I have spoken to all the potential bidders except for Club 9, and from what I see none of these bidders wants to see liquidation.”

You can follow Alex on Twitter @alextomo

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18 reader comments

  1. Manticlops says:

    The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
    ~ Sophocles

  2. TerryONeill says:

    Noticed that there is an interview with Neil Doncaster coming up on C4

    Perhaps if you can get a further chance you can put the following to him with regard to financial fair play and his application of it.

    Back in January 27th Hearts were late in paying players Neil Doncaster interviewed on BBC Sportsound said the following

    “If p.a.y.e. is not payed then clearly any club in that position is gaining a competitive advantage over every other club”

    More recently 2 March “to turn a blind eye,to allow clubs to continually fail to make prompt payments as they fall due,would be to allow those clubs to gain an unfair sporting advantage”

    Given that the difference between 2nd and 3rd in the SPL is £900,000 in prize money.

    Add to that Rangers have failed to pay their p.a.y.e this season to the tune of £9M then why hasnt Neil Doncaster intervened or commented on this unfair advantage.

    1. Trixie22 says:

      OMG Terry you are never off Radio Clyde now you are on here bumping your gums! What is your unhealthy obsession with Rangers … Don’t you have a life?

  3. Auldheid says:

    All Rangers has to do is live in future within its means, and then it has a future.

    Very true. It is the past and the present, the here and the now, that is the problem.

    Without addressing that and treating it as a reality there is no future.

  4. BigBobbyB says:

    It is surely unbefitting of a journalist of your calibre to be reduced to a mouth piece to man such as Craig Whyte.

    Why no tough questions?

    Why did you not ask why the club ran out of money on June 25th 2011 , just 50 days after CW’s takeover?

    Why no questioning of the pawning of season tickets, catering rights etc?

    The succulent lamb brigade are bad enough, surely we can expect better from yourself?

  5. Goosy says:

    Alex
    Have you asked D&P why they permitted 2 computers to be taken away from Ibrox on Day 2 of Admin?
    Also why they permitted 2 van loads of documents to be taken away by a shredding co a few days later?
    and then statedat their Feb 18 news conference that they couldnt answer a question until they had “gone through the records”

    1. Marty says:

      Your source for these claims and insinuations?

  6. Maggie says:

    I have been keeping up to date with these various blogs and find them very informative and interesting.I feel that there is much information you present which has not been reported in the Scottish media and it is for this reason that I enjoy reading your blogs. I have just this minute listened to a recorded segment of a radio show in which Graham Spiers accuses you of you stealing Scottish journalists thunder with regards to the issues you have reported on. Now Mr Spiers is of course entitled to his opinion but I feel this was quite a strong and inaccurate statement to make against you.I myself am fully aware that some of the information you have reported has been doing the rounds in Scotland for some time.Many online blogs and radio shows for instance have been filled in the last year with Celtic supporters speculating on much of what is now coming to light.However,it has been just that, speculation by supporters of the opposing club of the one in question. Very few credible journalists in Scotland had touched upon this subject until the later stages of this situation’s progression.Up until both your own and the BBC’s involvement with the initial expose on Whyte, many journalists in this country simply mocked and laughed at Celtic supporters claims against Whyte,calling it ‘sour grapes’ . Simply googling the man’s name unearthed a multitude of financial sins and yet night after night on radio shows across the land supporters of Celtic were continuously dismissed as being green with envy at the billionaire owner who would breath new life into Rangers FC. Now I will refrain from speculating as to the reasons why no one in the Scottish media, in the initial stages of Whyte’s takeover, saw fit to do their journalistic duty to investigate the man who would take over one of this country’s oldest institutions.I will refrain from speculating as to why derision of opposing fans ‘whistle blowing’ occurred, at a time when they were simply trying to warn people of Whyte’s sullied business past.I will also refrain from speculating as to why Mr Spiers sees fit to attack you over stealing Scottish journalists thunder when the fact remains that before yourself and the report from the BBC, it was the common man on the street bringing this information to the masses on online Internet blogs and snippets of time granted to them on radio.

    You have stolen nobody’s thunder Mr Thompson , what you have done is take the information out there ( from various sources) and display it in a credible and methodical manner to the wider public. You have achieved something in which the Scottish media missed the opportunity to achieve.You therefore do not deserve veiled derision from the likes of Graeme Spiers simply because you had the conviction to gather the evidence out there and present it to not only the Scottish public but the wider British public.I thank you for your blogs and I look forward to reading more of what you yourself uncover as this situation progresses.

    1. John says:

      Maggie you put your point forward very well – but the suggestion in your post that Celtic fans were clambering to their phones to warn everyone about CW’s past, reeks of the self delusion that Celtic fans have been bathing in for years.

      Mr Thompson your journalistic pov is a breath of fresh air.

      Keep up the good work.

      1. Maggie says:

        The evidence is there for all to see i’m afraid.It is FACT and there are plenty of online blogs to prove it. Celtic supporters did have a good understanding of this man’s character and had been using online sites and the radio to highlight this, long before journalists started asking any valid questions.

        Clambering to their phones? Maybe not but they were definitely picking them up and using them and any warning was better than none at all from the SCottish Media….

  7. ross says:

    Wooooo what a great in depth interview. That has answered all our questions thanks.

  8. Auldheid says:

    Mr Thomson

    One word

    Five letters

    TRUST!

    Not in an ebt sense but in what ebts were based on, that the parties involved would act with honesty and honor and in doing so ensure credibility in the very concept of trust itself.

    What we are witnessing on a massive scale is a betrayal of trust.

    By Rangers who have betrayed all they thought they stood for. Dignity , honesty and righteousness.

    By the media who betrayed the Rangers support in particular and the football reading public in Scotland at large. Purveyors of myths, lies and mistruths, whilst avoiding the very truths they were supposed to uphold and protect.

    The SFA and SPL who betrayed the game they were supposed to protect by not adopting and applying their rules “with rigor”. Remember that statement after the Shame Game supposed “summit”?

    And for what? To sustain an institution that simply does not work at any level, financial, business or moral. An institution whose history should be buried so that from the ashes something worth preserving might grow.

    The Easter message is timely. It began with a betrayal of trust, for how many pieces of silver? It moved through pain and death but led to the restoration of the best of human spirit.

    The kind where the truth was revealed in all its humble dignity and righteousness, the kind of spirit where trust cannot be betrayed.

    Time for the best of human spirit to prevail. Time for Rangers, the media and the governors of football to face the truth and act on it in such a way that trust itself is resurrected.

    1. Marty says:

      A laughable example of empty rhetoric.

  9. Hugh Coyle says:

    Living down south and being able to view this from afar I find it strange and more than a little concerning that not one of the RFC directors have actually come out and apologised to Rangers fans and then to the wider Scottish public for dragging their club and the country through this embarrasing mess. I think the Chancelor described RFC quite well in his latest budget speech, refering to those that purposefully avoid paying their fare share of tax as “morally repugnant”. RFC are not victims of some alien invader who has turned up and robbed them of all they had, they are the criminal who have caused this embarrassment to Scotland.

  10. Raymac says:

    Can you imagine Man Utd and Spurs being in a similar position? Spurs have not paid their players. The EPL tell them the consequences of this, as Neil Doncaster did to Hearts. Meanwhile the Glaziers have gone belly-up (it could happen) and Man Utd are about to go into liquidation, having been in administration. The EPL and Government talk about the horrendous amount of taxes owed, plus dodgy EBTs, plus other nefarious dealings (shredding of documents, computers taken away etc), but argue Man Utd must be saved. What would be the reaction in England from journalists and the papers, not to mention the public at large? Having said that, the Scottish Assembly conveniently “lost” details of the previous cases of sectarian attacks in Scotland, before pushing through a “Bill” that could pass as a replica Swiss cheese. Don’t be startled or confused when Salmond and his mob get through some sort of rescue of their favourite club. After all, racism does not apply to Irish/Scottish inhabitants, does it?

    1. Marty says:

      Salmond’s a Hearts fan, Is there no end to the hysteria, distortion and bombast on this subject?

  11. The Iceman says:

    Salmond – A Hearts fan my bumcheek. Have you read the sycophantic missives that he sent the rangers, the fact that he intercede on their behalf the fact that he won’t release the information surrounding the conversations he had with HMRC relating to rangers on this , his earlier praising of the vile sectarian chanting of rangers fans at last year’s league cup fimal. salmond is the son of a Churchillian tory – and at his core is a Rangers supporter. His comments and behaviour at the outset of this administration betrayed his own gut instincts here.

    To be fair since then he has remembered that Rangers owe the public purse many millions and that they are not the victims of being duped by Motherwell billionaire Whyte but of SDM and as SDM is one we cannot criticise as he still has sainted status with some then he has chosen , correctly to remain silent – as he should have done all along.

    Alex ( Thommo not Salmond) has been brilliant throughout here – he has allowed all fans a voice but persevered where he can – exposing the nature of Rangers use of EBT’s and pointing out the the inherent conflicts of interest at the heart of the SFA,

    Many of the aficionados of this story are of course super informed by RTC on this but Alex gives it gravitas and a true journalistic credibility which the “Internet Bampots” have lacked.

    He also shows up Spiers as a pseudo intellectual who has supped for too long with the devil and without a long enough spoon who now sees AT doing the job that he himself – had he had the courage – should have been doing. As for Tom English he has been made to look utterly ridiculous by this. The rest of the Scottish print media on Football are turnips in any case.

    Only Jim Spence from his Dundee perch and Mark Daly have looked anything like on the ball on this in Mainstream broadcast media terms. Chris McLaughlin has frankly looked like a demented baboon with constant wild and wilder contradictory tweets and reports.

    More power to your elbow Alex.

  12. Lord Nimmo says:

    Interesting how things have played out.

    One must feel aggrieved for Rangers and their army of fans – surely no objective person, in light of today’s findings, can see Rangers FC as nothing more than victims in this whole sordid affair.

    54 & Counting

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