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By ESPN Staff
Feb 2, 2012

Whyte: Ticket deal no risk

Rangers chairman Craig Whyte insists he has a £25 million "personal commitment" in the club as he again defended the deal to cash in on future season ticket sales.

• Jelavic seals Everton switch

Whyte admitted using lending firm Ticketus to access money based on three years of season ticket sales following reports the club borrowed £24 million in that way, but he has denied claims from former board members that the money was used to fund his takeover deal, which involved paying off an £18 million debt to Lloyds Banking Group.

Whyte said the deal, which built on an existing relationship between the club and Ticketus, was fully underwritten by one of his companies.

Whyte, who took over Rangers in May, added in the Scottish Sun: "There is no risk to Rangers fans whatsoever. I want to tell the fans that the money they put into Rangers stays in Rangers.

"I can reassure the fans that any money we get in is used to run the club and nothing else. I have a personal commitment of £25million in Rangers and I have never taken a penny out of the club."

Whyte stressed he was the secured creditor of Rangers and not Octopus, the parent firm of Ticketus.

The position would be significant should Rangers be put in administration, a situation that could be difficult to avoid if they lose a potential £49 million tax claim.

Whyte admitted they would have a "huge problem" were they to lose the case, which was heard at a three-day tribunal last month, but he claimed administration was not inevitable.

"All I can say is that I will do all I can in my power to avoid that situation," he said.

Whyte also defended his record in investing in the playing squad after selling top goalscorer Nikica Jelavic to Everton, claiming that extending the contracts of Steven Davis, Allan McGregor and Steven Whittaker was "the equivalent of going out and spending £15 million".

Whyte added that there was money to re-sign the likes of Maurice Edu and Kyle Lafferty while warning they could not expect to double their wages. "We don't have to sell a big player in each window, that's not the position," he said.

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