There are several unanswered into Mr Craig Whyte’s acquisition of Rangers. Notwithstanding the outgoing chairman Alistair Johnston’s comments about the need for “vigilance” by the club’s fans there are more prosaic questions still to be answered.
One such question is the source of the funding to pay the £18 million to Lloyds banking group.A persistent rumour is that Mr Whyte and Glasgow entrepreneur Mr James Mortimer are linked in the acquisition of the club. It would be a smart move. Mr Mortimer is a staunch Rangers fan and a very successful businessman in his own right.
I thought it a useful exercise in clearing up this rumour to get both Mr Whyte and Mr Mortimer on the record about their business dealings together.
Obviously a brace of denials would put the story to bed.
I asked the following questions of Mr Craig Whyte’s media advisers yesterday:
“Are Mr Whyte and Mr Mortimer business associates?”
The answer was an emphatic “no” from Mr Whyte’s spokesperson.
I then put a supplementary question.
“Did Mr Mortimer provide Mr Whyte with funds to acquire Rangers?”
The answer was:
“Not that I am aware of.”
I then put the following questions to a spokesperson for Mr James Mortimer.
“Has Mr James Mortimer provided any monies to Mr Craig Whyte, either directly or indirectly, for the purchase of Rangers?
Has Mr James Mortimer assisted Mr Whyte or any of Mr Whyte’s associates, either directly or indirectly, in securing finance from third parties to enable Mr Whyte to purchase Rangers FC?
Mr Mortimer and Mr Whyte sat next to each other at the Rangers v PSV Eindhoven game at Ibrox on March 17th last. Did Mr Whyte invite Mr Mortimer to the game or were they sitting side by side by chance?
Do Mr Mortimer and Mr Whyte have any business interests in common?”
Mr Mortimer’s spokesperson got back to me with a “No comment” to all of my questions.
A brace of denials would have killed this story.