The deceptive Craig Whyte
“Deceptive”: adjective Giving an appearance or impression different from the true one; misleading.
Whyte has released a statement on the official Rangers website dismissing the calls for “vigilance” from outgoing directors as just sour grapes from men replaced for resisting change. His statement includes the following:
“I believe most Rangers supporters understand that, as a result of the takeover, the Club’s debt to the Lloyds Banking Group has been cleared and I have repeatedly stated to the Board my intentions to invest in the team.”
This statement is nothing short of a clear attempt to mislead Rangers supporters. It is a craftily worded statement (Hay McKerron must be exhausted) that amounts to an attempt to deceive his paying customers. Craig Whyte does not say that Rangers FC’s debt has been reduced. He did not say this because he cannot say this. He cannot say this because it is not true. As this blog has stated several times, the debt that Rangers owed Lloyds banking Group was purchased by Whyte’s Wavetower company (as it was then named) in a transaction that did not involve Rangers. The purchase of MIH’s shares in Rangers FC by Whyte’s firm for a single pound was a separate transaction. So Rangers do not owe Lloyds this money any more, but they owe the same amount to someone else: Whyte’s company.
Prove me wrong, Mr. Whyte. Make a fool of me. Discredit this blog by revealing the structure of Rangers’ debt today. It is a plc and it does have 26,000 other shareholders who have a right to know the amount of indebtedness of the company they co-own with you.
The truth is that Rangers’ debt is about £28m (including negative working capital). The takeover did not change Rangers debt, but Whyte is trying to imply otherwise. Whyte is shaping up to make Sir David Murray look like a model of transparency and straight-talking.
Rangers supporters and journalists should note what Whyte did not mention. Whyte ignored the “circular” that he is alleged to have promised to the Independent Board Committee (a sub-committee of the old Rangers board that reviewed the takeover proposal). Alastair Johnston says that this was originally promised to be released on 16 May, but is now scheduled for 6 June. This “circular” is supposed to reveal the how Whyte plans to fund Rangers going forward (the £25m investment promised). Perhaps Whyte is just practicing ‘dignified silence’ on this subject? Perhaps this is simply a subject that he does not want to discuss publicly in advance of a result in the tax case?