Murray admits to Whyte mistake
Sir David Murray admits he made a 'huge mistake' selling Rangers to Craig Whyte and says he wishes he had 'never done the deal'.
Last Updated: 14/03/12 7:41am
Former Rangers owner Sir David Murray admits he made a 'huge mistake' selling the club to Craig Whyte and says he wishes he had 'never done the deal'.
Murray claims he was 'duped' by Whyte into parting with his majority shareholding for just £1 in May 2011.
Since falling into Whyte's hands, Rangers have suffered a dramatic financial collapse that has forced them into administration and threatened the very existence of the club.
Whyte has since been found not to be a 'fit and proper person' to run a football club by the Scottish Football Association, but that ruling has come too late for the Glasgow outfit.
"I was primarily duped," said Murray.
"My advisers were duped, the bank was duped, the shareholders were duped. We've all been duped."
Asked why he thought Whyte was the right man to take the club forward, after previously saying he would only sell to someone with Rangers' best interests at heart, Murray replied: "Because he met the criteria that were in his offer document. He's quite affable and plausible.
"I always remember someone said, 'Does it pass the sniff test?'
"He was Scottish, he wasn't a foreigner, he was supposedly a Rangers supporter, he had the money.
"There is a Stock Exchange offer document there. If you can't believe that, what can you do?
"Craig Whyte made a statement that the club was never in better financial state when he took it over.
"This is a guy saying he's going to spend money on players, on health and safety, do the ground up. That is a legal offer document. You would expect that to be honoured.
"The letter on January 3 (from Whyte's solicitors assuring Murray that obligations were being met by Whyte) is quite dynamite, because what they've done is confirm that they would deliver the deal they signed up to."
Asked if alarm bells did not ring when former chairman Alistair Johnston and former director Paul Murray warned that the deal with Whyte was not the right one for the club, Murray added: "We did check, to the best of our ability.
"After someone has been disqualified (as a company director) for seven years, it's not that easy to check. And it is also down to the individual, is it not, to make us aware of that?
"I'm not defending me - because I've made a huge mistake here. And I deeply regret, I deeply regret, selling the club to Craig Whyte now. Deeply.
"And if the information had been available to me at the time I wouldn't have done it. I did it in good faith."
Paul Murray and the Blue Knights consortium have expressed an interest in rescuing Rangers from the threat of liquidation, but Sir David Murray admits recent events have tarnished his legacy at Ibrox.
He said: "Of course it has. It's 22, 23 years, and I think the first 15 or 16 were fantastic.
"Then we went into a tight period financially when I put a lot of money into the club. I have genuinely put just short of £100million into Rangers in my tenure.
"We all enjoyed a lot of success together. Now all of a sudden it's all my fault. I accept at the end of the day I was the captain of the ship, and I take my share of criticism."