David Murray “desperate” to sell Rangers to Craig Whyte

Craig Whyte. 'Picture: PA
Craig Whyte. 'Picture: PA
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SIR David Murray’s advisers were “desperate” to get the Craig Whyte buy-out of Rangers “over the line”, a court heard.

It was also today alleged the tycoon’s team “did not care” how Whyte was financing any deal.

The claims were made by lawyer Gary Withey who had acted for Whyte as he looked to acquire Sir David’s majority stake at Ibrox.

He was giving evidence for a second day at Whyte’s trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

The 46 year-old denies a charge of fraud and a second allegation under the Companies Act in connection with his May 2011 takeover.

The jury was previously told how Mr Withey – a corporate lawyer – had worked for English firm Collyer Bristow.

The 52 year-old was instructed in the takeover talks having initially met Whyte in mid-2010.

Mr Withey was again today questioned about funding for the deal.

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The solictor claimed those on the Murray side “did not seem to care” with regards the financing.

Mr Withey went on: “This was the only deal I have been involved in where the vendor was pushing more than the purchaser.

“Mr Whyte did not seem to care. I have never been pushed so hard in any deal.

“They were desperate to get this deal over the line.”

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Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC then asked: “You say Murray did not seem to care?”

Mr Withey: “They did not want the embarrassment of this not completing.”

Mr Prentice later put to Mr Withey that there seemed to be a “persistence” from the Murray team that funds were there.

The witness said he would agree.

The advocate depute added: “Fair to say then that it appeared to have importance to Murray that you had the money.”

Mr Withey: “Not that I had the money. The fact that the deal would complete...that was important.”

Mr Withey also suggested that one of the Murray advisers did not want a “mighty mess” from any deal.

The lawyer earlier told the trial that a source of money was from the firm Ticketus.

Prosecutors claim Whyte helped fund his takeover by getting a loan from the company against three years of future season ticket sales.

Mr Prentice asked if “steps” were taken to “conceal” Ticketus as a “fund provider”.

Mr Withey: “I was told by Mr Whyte that Ticketus must not be shown.”

But, he added that it was “not unusual” not to reveal “your source of funding”.

The trial, before Judge Lady Stacey, continues.

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