Craig Whyte insists Rangers are a new club in explosive interview as he slams Sir David Murray and EBTs and makes Celtic claim

Craig Whyte spoke to the Off the Ball programme on BBC Radio ScotlandCraig Whyte spoke to the Off the Ball programme on BBC Radio Scotland
Craig Whyte spoke to the Off the Ball programme on BBC Radio Scotland
Craig Whyte has insisted that Rangers are a new club as the former Light Blues owner slammed Sir David Murray for "duping" him when he took the reins at Ibrox.

In an explosive interview with the Off the Ball programme on BBC Radio Scotland, the businessman was asked a series of questions about his takeover of the club, his new book "Into The Bearpit" and the saga that saw Rangers enter administration in 2012.

In the Q&A, Whyte admitted if he could go back in time, he would have "put Rangers into administration on the first day," insisted that he didn't get a single penny of the £24 million from Ticketus and insisted that there was no reason why Rangers couldn't do the same as Celtic.

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He said: "[I thought it was possible to make a profit]. It has the potential to be a great business. It's got 50,000 people prepared to buy serason tickets every year. People will go back and do it again and again. There's definitely potential for that business to make a good profit.

"When somebody finally turns it around, you only have to look at Celtic to see what's possible and there's no reason why Rangers, in the long-term, can't do the same. The potential is there."

Whyte also insisted that Rangers are a new club. In response to the question, "One emotionally very, very divisive issue which, to this day, divides Scottish football - are Rangers a new club? What's your view?" he replied: "Yes, obviously they are."

Sir David Murray and 'duping'

Whyte was also asked about comments made by former Ibrox chairman Sir David Murray, whom he bought the club from for a reported £1:

Asked: "When you came into Rangers, the famous line put about by Sir David Murray is that he was "duped" by yourself - was he?"

The 49-year-old - who in 2017 was cleared of fraudulently acquiring ownership of the club - replied: "I think it's more like the other way around.

"There were a lot of things that he didn't disclose to me so he certainly wasn't duped, and that was proven during the trial in 2017.

"I've got nothing to say to David Murray. The last time I saw him was in court in Glasgow, that was the last time I saw him. I've got no desire to see the guy again."

'EBT scheme was to blame' for financial turmoil

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Revealing that he doesn't keep an eye on Scottish football or the results of matches, Whyte continued: "I think it's pretty obvious with the benefit of hindsight that Rangers should never have entered into the EBT tax scheme.

"That was what was to blame [for the financial fiasco] and the board that was around from the early 2000s up until 2011 kept it going.

"But they could've stopped it at any time when the liability was still manageable. They could've stopped buying players and could've done a multitude of things to resolve it long before I came along."

'I've probably put as much money into Rangers as anybody else'

Asked if he had put any money into Rangers, Whyte said: "The Ticketus money that everyone knows about, the infamous Ticketus deal where they put £20 million or so in, was guaranteed by me personally. And they subsequently recovered seven-figure sums from me on that. I've probably put as much into Rangers as almost anybody else."

Addressing Rangers fans, Whyte said: "If they want to know what really happened, from the guy who was there in the middle of it all, they should read [the book] and find out for themselves what happened.

"[They can] draw their own opinions from what I say. I don't think I've got much to apologise for."