Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Rangers go to war over BBC documentary

Rangers owner Craig Whyte has instructed his lawyers to begin legal proceedings against the BBC
File photo dated 07/05/11 of Rangers owner Craig Whyte who insists he is doing everything in his power to prevent the club from going into administration. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 20, 2011. The Scottish champions are involved in two separate disputes with HM Revenue and Customs relating to payments made before Whyte took over Sir David Murray's shareholding in May. The larger of those cases could leave Rangers facing an estimated tax bill of £49 million. Whyte has always maintained he is confident of winning the case, but did address the issue of administration in an interview with STV. See PA story SCOTLAND Rangers. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Rangers owner Craig Whyte has instructed his lawyers to begin legal proceedings against the BBC over allegations made against him in a documentary aired last night.

The programme, BBC Scotland Investigates: Rangers — The Inside Story, explored Whyte's business dealings before he bought the Scottish champions.

The Scots tycoon took over Sir David Murray's shareholding in the club in May.

A spokesman for Whyte said last night: “Craig Whyte strenuously refutes these unfounded and defamatory allegations and has instructed his lawyers, Carter Ruck, to commence immediate legal proceedings against the BBC.

“Any repetition of these false accusations will also be met with legal action.”

In response, a BBC Scotland spokesman said: “We stand by the investigation which was produced according to our rigorous editorial standards on fairness, accuracy and impartiality.

“As the programme BBC Scotland Investigates: Rangers — The Inside Story makes clear, Craig Whyte took the opportunity to respond to questions which were put to him during the course of the production.”

Earlier this week, Rangers withdrew co-operation with the BBC, describing the programme as “little more than a prejudiced muckraking exercise.”

However, the BBC strongly rejected claims of bias against the club and insisted the content of the programme was accurate and in the public interest.

Prior to the broadcast, Whyte said: “I've got nothing to be ashamed of.”

Meanwhile, Whyte claims he is doing everything he can to prevent the club from going into administration. Rangers are involved in two separate disputes with HM Revenue and Customs, relating to payments before his takeover.

He said: “It's not something we want to see happen and we are actively doing all we can to avoid it.

“There is no chance of Rangers going out of business, no chance whatsoever.”

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