Rangers owner Craig Whyte irked by Johnston remarks

Alastair Johnston and Craig Whyte
Whyte and Johnston watched Rangers clinch this season's SPL title at Rugby Park

Rangers owner Craig Whyte has expressed concerns over comments made by former chairman Alastair Johnston regarding recent changes at the club.

Johnston and director Paul Murray were sacked after refusing to resign.

Chief executive Martin Bain and finance director Donald McIntyre were suspended pending an internal inquiry.

"I've been disappointed by comments regarding the takeover made by former board members who are clearly reluctant to embrace change," said Whyte.

Whyte's Wavetower company - now renamed The Rangers FC Group Ltd - assumed control of Sir David Murray's 85% shareholding in the Ibrox outfit on 6 May, and Johnston urged Rangers fans to "remain vigilant and continue to exert pressure" on the club's new owner.

Johnston remains concerned about the new owner's plans for the club.

He told BBC Scotland: "He needs to walk the walk and not just talk the talk."

However, Whyte has responded with a statement on the club website, urging calm and restating his intention to invest in the club.

He also insisted that the changes in the makeup of the Ibrox board were a perfectly normal business process when new ownership is assumed.

"It is a huge privilege and honour to have become the majority shareholder at Rangers football club," said Whyte.

"My commitment to take the club forward is unwavering and like all Rangers supporters I want to build on the tremendous success achieved by the team in recent years.

"It is not uncommon to bring fresh thinking to an organisation in an effort to deliver greater success and that is the fundamental reason that changes have been made to the composition of the board.

"Further board appointments will be announced in due course. It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the suspensions of the chief executive and finance director at this time.

"I believe most Rangers supporters understand that, as a result of the takeover, the club's debt to the Lloyds Banking Group has been cleared and I have repeatedly stated to the board my intentions to invest in the team."

The Motherwell-born venture capitalist also insisted he had spoken to the new Rangers manager Ally McCoist and would begin the process of acquiring new players in the coming weeks.

"I have had discussions with Ally McCoist regarding his ambition to secure players already playing for the club and also to bring new faces to the squad," said Whyte. "These discussions will resume when Ally returns to Ibrox this week.

"These are exciting times for Rangers and the club's supporters.

"This past season's achievements were truly great and I am determined to continue that success for Rangers and our supporters around the world."

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