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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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By ESPN Staff

New Rangers owner hits out at board

Craig Whyte tonight angrily hit out at the Rangers board after they expressed doubts over his cash pledges within hours of him completing his takeover of the club.

• Rangers blog: Whyte Knight?

Whyte successfully acquired Sir David Murray's 85% shareholding on Friday night in a deal worth £52.5 million, including a promise to invest £25 million in the playing squad over five years and rejuvenate Ibrox Stadium.

But a statement released by the Independent Board Committee, led by Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston, revealed their continued scepticism over Whyte's ability to fund his pledges.

Whyte said: "What they said was complete and utter nonsense. I was surprised and disappointed with their statement. It's obvious certain individuals have a different agenda and don't like change. I've already spoken to them so they know my feelings.''

Whyte now wants to hold talks with manager-in-waiting Ally McCoist about his plans for bolstering the squad over the summer but is keen not to detract from attempts to secure the SPL title this season.

He said: "I've only had a very brief meeting with Ally a few months ago. Now we must sit down together as soon as possible. I need to know Ally's thoughts because I'm here to facilitate them. I reckon we need four or five new players for next season. However, it's important I don't do anything to take away the focus of trying to retain the title. Let's win the league first, then talk about the future.''

Whyte was met with applause from hundreds of Rangers fans as he arrived at Ibrox for Saturday's meeting with Hearts. And he would have been impressed by events on the pitch as the Scottish champions cruised to a 4-0 win and stretched their lead at the SPL summit to four points.

Reflecting on his first match as owner, the lifelong Rangers fan said: "It was an exciting day for me after six long months of negotiations with Sir David Murray. The result was better than I could have expected. Now let's make sure we win our next two games.

"Being able to bring my father, Tom, to Ibrox was something special. He used to bring me to the Copland Road end to watch Rangers 30 years ago. The only thing different is that I couldn't sing in the directors' box.''

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