Glasgow & West Scotland

Rangers fraud trial: Whyte 'wanted Ticketus mentions removed'

Craig Whyte arriving at High court in Glasgow Image copyright PA
Image caption Craig Whyte is standing trial at the High Court in Glasgow

Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte told his business partner to remove mentions of season ticket firm Ticketus from the club's financial projections ahead of his takeover, a jury has heard.

Witness Phil Betts also said Mr Whyte told him he was putting £5m into the deal.

Mr Whyte, 46, is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow for acquiring Rangers by fraud, which he denies.

He also denies a second charge under the Companies Act.

Mr Betts has been giving evidence to the fraud trial for a second day.

Season ticket sales

He said before Mr Whyte's company bought Rangers, they had to prepare cash flow projections.

However, he said Mr Whyte wanted to avoid revealing the role of the season ticket company Ticketus, which was helping fund the deal.

Mr Betts said he responded by removing any mention of it, and he accepted in court that could be "misleading".

Prosecutors allege Mr Whyte pretended to Sir David Murray, and others, that funds were available to make all required payments to acquire a "controlling and majority stake" in the club.

The Crown alleges Mr Whyte had only £4m available from two sources at the time but took out a £24m loan from Ticketus against three years of future season ticket sales.

The court has heard the sale was eventually made to Mr Whyte for £1 but came with obligations to pay an £18m bank debt, a £2.8m "small tax case" bill, £1.7m for stadium repairs, £5m for players and £5m in working capital.

The second charge under the Companies Act centres on the £18m payment between Mr Whyte's Wavetower company and Rangers to clear a bank debt.

The trial before eight men and seven women continues.

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