Rangers supporters reacted with fury yesterday as Craig Whyte broke cover to claim he had “done nothing wrong” over the collapse of the club.
The despised former Ibrox owner admitted buying the club for £1 remains his biggest regret 10 years on, describing it as a “nightmare” for him.
But his remarks were met with disdain from fans, with one prominent supporters’ group saying his leading role in the debacle had made the last decade “unbearable” for the club’s huge following.
Whyte admitted in the shock interview that he should have been more open with fans but claimed: “I don’t believe I did anything wrong.”
He said: “I was not responsible for the build-up of tax debt that caused HMRC to pursue Rangers.
“I was the guy who was there when it went wrong but I wasn’t the person who caused the problem.”
Whyte, 50, became the main villain in one of the darkest chapters in the history of Rangers after buying out David Murray’s majority shareholding for the paltry sum on May 6, 2011 – taking on the club’s millions of debt in the process.
It was later revealed he had used money from future season tickets via a company called Ticketus to allow him to complete his purchase.
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Rangers were put into administration, then liquidation in 2012 and Whyte was charged and later cleared of fraud in relation to the takeover. Speaking 10 years after he took over at Ibrox, Whyte said: “I should have been more open with the fans and the media.
“I should have disclosed the funding method on day one – by not doing that, I gave the media and the fans ammunition to throw at me.
“I think it’s fair to say that the whole experience, from start to finish, from walking into Ibrox on that first day, to being acquitted at the High Court, was the most traumatic experience of my life, for sure.”
Craig Houston, who instigated The Sons of Struth movement to force boardroom changes in light of Whyte’s time at the club, branded claims that he was not responsible for the club’s collapse as “lies”.
He added: “How he thinks he’s not responsible is nonsense. I’m glad it was traumatic for him because it was traumatic for tens of thousands of people who unknowingly funded his purchase in the first place.
“He won’t be getting much sympathy from the blue half of the city.
“He was the one that duped the Rangers fans. It’s because of the lessons we learned as fans during the Craig Whyte debacle that made us pay more attention to what was going on in our club. If there was no Craig Whyte there would never have been a Sons of Struth.
“True Rangers fans have been too hurt by the experience to ever let that happen again.
“No one will ever get the 100 per cent trust of Rangers fans until they prove they are trustworthy.
“It’s been a tough 10 years that have been unbearable for Rangers fans.”
Meanwhile, fan forums were filled with contempt at Whyte’s words.
One raged: “Actually makes me sick thinking of this period in my life and our club.”