Green adamant in rebuttal

Rangers chief executive Charles Green says there was never any possibility of Craig Whyte being involved in his consortium.

Last Updated: 05/04/13 at 20:04 Post Comment

Rangers chief executive Charles Green tonight insisted there was never any possibility of Craig Whyte being involved in his consortium after the former owner apparently claimed he was behind the original Ibrox newco.

Whyte has threatened legal action against Green and former Rangers director Imran Ahmad - demanding £1million a year for life or 25 per cent of the Ibrox chief executive's shares.

Whyte, whose own Rangers takeover remains the subject of a police inquiry, claims he was the main driver behind the Sevco 5088 company which purchased the assets and business of the company he had put into administration.

Days later Green transferred the assets - which were bought for £5.5million in June last year - to a different company called Sevco Scotland, which then became The Rangers Football Club.

Whyte's main argument appears to be that such a transfer was illegal and he remains the rightful owner of the club's assets.

Rangers manager Ally McCoist today called for Green to give fans answers over the claims and his boss attempted to oblige tonight in a lengthy statement which hit out at Whyte, who was declared unfit to hold a position in football by the Scottish Football Association.

Green had always claimed he had met Whyte to secure a deal to acquire his shares for £2 before his group were named preferred bidders for the administration-hit club in May last year. The shares later proved irrelevant as an offer to creditors was rejected, prompting the re-launch of Rangers as a new company.

Tonight he insisted he was not Whyte's "front man" and continued to claim that Ahmad had fed the former Rangers chairman the information he wanted to hear in order to secure the shares, if needed.

Green described Whyte's comments as "distorted and malicious allegations coming from a man who is completely discredited and now under police investigation".

He added: "So, of course there were discussions and agreements with regard to his shares and debenture release. There has never been any attempt to deny or disguise that.

"However, it must be stressed that no matter what Mr Whyte believes there was never any possibility of him being involved with us in the ownership of this club. And there was most certainly never any intention to pay him anything."

Green added: "He claims I was his front man. He could not be more wrong.

"With 8%, I am the major shareholder in Rangers FC and I have no tie-in of any kind with Mr Whyte. He was never going to become an associate and never will. He has no right to any claim on Rangers FC, its shares or assets.

"It is alleged there is a letter which agrees Mr Whyte and a business partner of his, Aidan Earley, would have a majority shareholding in Sevco 5088. If there is it wasn't signed or endorsed by me."

After Whyte produced recordings of a conversation between the pair, Green admitted he had told him: "You are Sevco, that's what we are saying."

His statement continued: "This is correct but at that point I had signed a resignation letter and a stock transfer form because it was decided that a Scottish company should buy a Scottish institution. Sevco 5088 wasn't required.

"I was not going to allow this man anywhere near this club again."

Green claimed Whyte had wanted to invest and Ahmad told him he would need £6million but knew there was no way he could come up with the money.

The former Sheffield United chief executive added that Whyte's £25,000 cheque for legal fees over the transfer of shares bounced.

Green added: "However, just more than £137,000 was deposited later and although way short of what he said he had, we were stunned and have tried to give it back to him. But no matter how hard we try to do that he won't accept receipt of it.

"This money has never been touched. It has never been used and it is not required. We don't want it, don't need it and Mr Whyte is perfectly well aware of that.

"He has not invested a penny in Rangers FC.

Green added: "We cannot understand why Mr Whyte keeps going to the media rather than the court. He has threatened to take Duff & Phelps to court, the SFA to court and now Charles Green and Imran Ahmad. We suggest he gets on with it.

"If he wants to go to court we would be delighted to see him there."

McCoist earlier admitted the first he knew of Whyte's claims was when he read a newspaper this morning.

He added: "Without doubt again, the real people I feel sorry for are the supporters.

"The supporters have kept this club going in the last 18 months and I definitely feel for them.

"Just when they seem to be getting a bit of clarity, something else comes out of leftfield. I would be very hopeful that our supporters can get the answers they deserve."

When asked whether he trusted what Green told him about the club, McCoist said: "Of course I do. I don't think he lies to me. Not at all."


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