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Feb, 27, 2012

Whyte denies missing millions

Craig Whyte, Rangers' underfire owner and chairman, has denied that millions of pounds destined for the club's accounts went missing after his takeover at Ibrox.

• Rangers fined £50,000 by Stock Exchange

And the businessman has been forced to dismiss claims that funds raised from future season ticket sales failed to reach Rangers coffers to be instead paid to another of Whyte's companies.

"There will be absolute clarity from the administrators. There are no missing millions," he told Sky Sports News. "There has been some outrageous and malicious reporting, particularly in the Scottish media." Rangers are in administration after their parlous financial state eventually led to Whyte, already at loggerheads with Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs over 'image rights' payments, admitting defeat. Reports suggest that £9 million of further unpaid tax has been accrued since Whyte took over control of the club from Sir David Murray in May 2011.

"I can assure Rangers fans that every penny going into the club has been accounted for and will be accounted for," stated Whyte. Gers' were deducted 10 points entering administration to kill off this season's SPL title race, but Whyte said the club will emerge a stronger entity down the line.

"I don't walk away from anything. I'm in regular contact with the administrators," he continued. "I'm working as hard as I can to help resolve the issues and make sure Rangers come out stronger on the other side of this. I'm in regular contact with them (administrators). I'm here to work with them and get the issues resolved. It's a huge challenge. I took that challenge on. I'm not walking away from it and that's what we're working on right now.

"Rangers are a massive business and brand. They've got the best supporters in the world and together we'll get through this. I've been a stand-up guy ever since day one when I bought Rangers back in May last year. I took on a club with huge financial difficulties. I've been working ever so hard to solve these financial difficulties. I would hope like every other Rangers fan that we get out of it (administration) as quickly as possible, but I can't put a timescale on that at the moment.

"Although we're going through a very, very painful process at the moment for all Rangers fans, it's a process that really is absolutely necessary and we will come out the other side of this and we will come out the other side of this as a stronger more sustainable business."

Whyte denied newspaper reports he has been evasive with the club's administrators and also said that Rangers' £50,000 fine by the PLUS Stock Exchange for failing to disclose he had previously been disqualified for being a direct was 'irrelevant' to the club's battle for survival.

"I'm not going to go into private conversations that I have with the administrators at this moment in time," he said. "They're in there. "They are working very hard to get through the many issues that have to be resolved to get us through to the other side. The administrators are working to sort the issues out and get Rangers out of the other side of this process.

"I said two weeks ago that this was the beginning of the end of the uncertainty that's been hanging over Rangers for years now. We're still in that process. It's very, very painful and we all feel it as Rangers fans. What I can say is that we will get through this and we will be stronger in future."

Whyte laid the ground for further redundancies to follow the recent culling members of the club's non-playing staff. "I'm not aware of exactly what the plan is there, but I would hope like every other Rangers fan is that it's kept to a minimum. But what I will say is that there will be more pain and the administrators are acting in the best long-term interests of the club."

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