Missing Quarter of a Mil'
Who are Banstead Athletic?
For the next part of our investigation, it's back to the data room.
We've obtained more than 100 leaked e-mails, that went between Craig Whyte, his takeover team and the Murray Group. They give
a fascinating insight into the takeover negotiations. They also provide some real clues about the men who sold the jerseys.
It's time to introduce a new character, David Grier. Grier was employed by Whyte to help smooth the transaction. That meant
negotiating with the Murray Group.
David Murray "If I move on from Rangers, I will leave it in the hands of people that I think will put the best into the club"
But, was Sir David so keen to sell the club that he was willing to abandon the notion of due diligence and give a prospective
buyer a helping hand?
In this e-mail from Whyte to Grier, it looks as if their team has given inside information from Murray Group's Mike McGill
about how to get the Rangers board onside.
But, Whyte's got no intention of sticking to his promises. "I have forwarded the attached working capital projection to
Mike McGill. This is not the plan we are going to work too as it is clearly not sustainable but according to Mike it is
what the independent committee expect to see."
David Murray told the BBC that Mr McGill "Discharged his role as finance director in a perfectly ordinary manner to all
David Grier helped get the deal done and we'll hear more about Grier later.
At first, the fans were happy. It didn't hurt that Rangers won the league.
Sammy Paterson "I wanted to give the guy a chance, because he, on paper, seems to have the right credentials"
Fans care about trophies but, what was on Craig White's mind? Remember, he had a history of asset-stripping. Did he intend
to take this business model to Ibrox?
Behind the scenes, some clues were emerging, and would lead me all the way to Surrey to investigate the curious case of the
missing quarter of a million pounds.
This is the home of non-league minnows Banstead Athletic. It could hardly be further from the atmosphere and glamour
of Ibrox Stadium but, apparently, Craig White had decided to give this tiny amateur club £250,000 from the Rangers client accounts.
The only problem is, that the people at the club don't appear to know anything about it. The chairman of Banstead has told
the BBC that he's never seen the cash nor does he expect to. And with attendances here sometimes struggling to get into the
teens, they could certainly do with the money.
What was that cash really for? And, where did it end up?
A Young Craig Whyte
The trail would take me to one of Craig Whyte's old pals. Aidan Earley a twice-bankrupted, born-again Christian.
There are some serious questions that Rangers fans might want to put to Mr Earley.
Well, to be fair, to Aidan Earley, he just spent 20 min at the door and, in a nutshell, he categorically denies doing
anything wrong but, every time I asked him where the money is, he clams up.
Aidan Earley later provided a statement "The £250k that you refer to did not come from Rangers. But because of Craig's
involvement with RFC it was conceded that Rangers could have an interest. It is none of anyone's business how the money
was deployed I did not receive a penny, nor did Craig. In the politest possible way, I would very much like never to hear
from you again in the context of Rangers."
We may never know where that money went and in an e-mail Craig Whyte told us "I'm not aware of any payment being made
Sammy Paterson "From what I can gather it's his own money, from his own businesses because he does have businesses.
I thought, okay, this guy speaking of money, upfront, from his own labours"
Did it worry you that he wouldn't tell us exactly how he made his money, he had businesses, yes, but he wouldn't
exactly say where these, so-called, millions were coming from?
Sammy Paterson "Again, smoke and mirrors, using choice phrases to reassure us without actually telling us where his
money came from. But, just giving enough of a hint for us think it was all legal and above board."
Rangers fans were still giving Craig Whyte the benefit of the doubt until, that is, the revelation that he'd mortgaged
off three years season-ticket money to fund the club. Finance firm Ticketus, based at the Old Bailey in London were flung
into the spotlight over what appeared to be a very questionable business decision indeed.
This, to Rangers fans, was the ultimate act of selling the jerseys. Craig Whyte didn't just mislead fans about where the
money to fund the purchase came from, he sliced off a huge chunk of future revenue. Potentially, cutting off the lifeline
of the club.
Alastair Johnston "The public reaction to Craig Whyte it definitely was going to change when he was going to do
something to the club. So, selling jerseys, coming out and been proved to be a blatant liar, saying it was his
money, was huge"
Sammy Paterson "At the end of the day, what he's done, he's stolen my money and thousands of other Rangers fans"
Graham Spiers "Even the most blinkered Rangers fan wanted to believe in Craig White. The White Knight, the man with
wealth off the radar. Even that group of Rangers fans had to concede really bad news is unfolding for us"
The bad news came on Valentine's Day. The Administrators were called in!