Arsenal Shares: Previous Board Alerted Whyte
22/02/2012 1,564 Comments
Reports that Craig Whyte has been “asset stripping” and selling off Rangers’ heirlooms have understandably angered many fans.
However, painting Craig Whyte as the devil incarnate on this issue might be a little hasty. It appears that members of the old board actually suggested to Whyte that these shares could be sold for cash.
Rangers’ April 2011 Financial Report (prepared on 18 May for Whyte just after the takeover) contained the following:
It is understandable that every weapon in the armoury is being deployed to get Whyte out, but it is also clear that truth and context might be casualties in this war. From the tone and positioning in the report, these shares were suggested to Whyte as a source of cash. No other “family silver” is listed.
Had Whyte’s takeover of the club not happened would Rangers have sold their Arsenal shares anyway? The issue of concern for Rangers fans should not be the sale of the Arsenal shares themselves, but rather what has happened to the proceeds. However, simply accusing Whyte of misappropriating £188k would carry legal risks and might seem trivial compared with recent accusations. The emotional appeal of the sixteen shares gifted to the club in 1910 is a much more potent weapon.
Public relations at its murky best!