What is really going on at Rangers?

By Chick YoungBBC Scotland football pundit
Rangers chairman Craig Whyte
Whyte has had a turbulent spell as Rangers chairman since completing his takeover

There is this nightmare which keeps recurring in which I have to make a choice: undertake the search for the truth about what is really going on at Rangers, or a journey to the centre of the earth?

Pass the shovel, please.

The machinations of the Ibrox boardroom and the web of intrigue which has been weaved around the club have, from this correspondent's viewpoint, been embraced with something approaching apathy by huge swathes of the support.

It has been a scotoma, a refusal or inability to see what is really happening. Or was. Suddenly, at long last, they seem to be a little concerned about the future of the club and the history of its owner.

Rangers, at best, are on the ropes. At worst a total shambles.

It's less than a year since the then chairman Alastair Johnston, full in the knowledge that he was signing his own death warrant, admitted for the first time that the club would go bust. He was at the time vilified for the mention, although in truth he only nodded in agreement to the suggestion that they would.

Now? The word "administration" is glued to the end of every sentence in which the club is discussed.

A BBC investigation - Rangers: The Inside Story - was the first media outlet to question the role of Craig Whyte and now the Daily Record has posed questions about the way the club is being run.

Whyte responded in predictable style, trying to deflect attacks on him by suggesting they were assaults on the name of Rangers. This is palpably not the case.

According to the newspaper - and former chairman Johnston - Whyte sold off four years of supporters' money to Ticketus, money which was used to buy the club.

In response, Whyte claims that such a financing arrangement is commonplace and allows a club to receive revenue from a portion of season tickets in advance. True. But the usual practice is for three or fourth months, not all the way to 2014.

The club has hawked its soul. And not paid its debts.

Rangers, once a class act in the transfer window, have operated this January like they were in a car boot sale, the flotsam and jetsam of the market place turning up at Murray Park for a quick look round.

I believe that the accused are now requesting their trials there, confident that they will be released after a day.

If that's a bad joke, then this is not: Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs says Rangers owe £49m, made up of unpaid tax and penalties, related to Employee Benefit Trust payments to staff more than a decade ago.

We await a verdict on the case but if the Revenue loses the case it is expected to appeal.

Ultimately this could go to the House of Lords.

But more than that they have still to pay the lesser tax bill of £4.2m - original fee plus penalties - that Whyte agreed to embrace as part of his deal to buy the club from David Murray for £1.

Rangers chairman Craig Whyte and fans
Whyte talks to Rangers fans at Saturday's home game against Hibernian

Promises of transfer market war chests? Spanish galleons must have sailed up the Clyde and pillaged them from Ibrox.

In the meantime, there has been no agm, no board meetings and no information from the owner, save for the occasional rant from him about the BBC and a consequent refusal from anyone at Ibrox to speak to the Corporation.

Curiously enough, incidentally, the Record has not been dealt the same huff.

John Greig, voted by the supporters as the greatest ever Ranger, quit as a director and walked out the back door after half a century of service because no-one would tell him what was going on.

And if what I have been told is true then there is more to follow.

And the truth, for all we know, might be down there deep below the earth's crust…