Let’s be clear from the off, Craig Whyte is not your friend. He was not the man who “murdered” Rangers any more than Alasdair Johnston, his accuser, who was paid to ensure the club was run in an appropriate manner in the years prior to its crash into liquidation.
If Whyte has your job, your pension or your wellbeing in his hands, you would likely fair no better than those who have had the misfortune to be vulnerable to his exploitative nature before. He is the worst manifestation of our corporate system.
As yesterday’s verdict at Glasgow High Court established, he was merely a collaborative player in the drama which saw Murray Group shed its liabilities to Rangers fans into an all-too certain, and limited, future.
The SFA were right to quickly fine and sine die Whyte, despite the fact that he has no inclination to become involved in football again. What the Association must now do is examine the role of those who had explicit and executive oversight responsibility of managing Rangers through the process of its decline and sale to a character with a lengthy corporate irresponsibility charge sheet.
Whyte was not in any way a bad choice for the job required at Rangers. For those with most to gain, he was the perfect choice. He was, in fact, the only choice, if the desired result was to be delivered – and it was.
No one else would have had the stomach to pick up a corporate basket case, manoeuvring bank debt, securitising years of ticket sales, brazingly stiffing public service funding, and in doing so, freeing Murray Group from a disabling liability.
What do I care? I predicted, then watched, Rangers inevitable crash into administration and liquidation. Patience and thick skin was all that was required through the years of bravado from Ibrox. Those who shouted down the glaringly obvious in support of these charlatans have been shown up as malleable accomplices.
There is one outstanding matter I do care about. In my opinion, Sir David Murray did not discharge his duties as the ultimate controlling director of Rangers FC in a responsible manner. If there is one issue which every Scottish football fan can unite on, it is surely this.
The deplorable sequence of events at that club, from it’s exploitation of the Employee Benefit Trust scheme to pay millionaires tax free sums through a system which was designed to allow employers to aid staff through periods of hardship.
To its submissions to the SFA on taxable overdue. To the shredding of correspondence, and failure to disclose other correspondence.
Rangers were a huge influence on our game; on the SFA, the SPL, the media, and more. The executives concerned had placemen who protected them. The SFA must now charge those responsible for bringing the game into disrepute.
More sine die punishments would mean little to men who are already finished with the game, but it would be a hugely significant act of faith towards the paying public, of all colours. It is time for us all to unite against the men who really did sell the jerseys.