Craig Whyte arriving at High court in Glasgow
Image caption Craig Whyte denies fraudulently acquiring the Ibrox side

A lawyer who handled Craig Whyte’s takeover of Rangers told him he would be “mad” to do the deal, a court has heard.

Gary Withey said he advised Mr Whyte to walk away after being “shocked” about how little financial information was given by the football club’s sellers.

The 52-year-old was giving evidence at the trial of Craig Whyte, who is accused of acquiring the club by fraud.

Mr Whyte denies a charge of acquiring Rangers by fraud in May 2011.

He denies a second charge under the Companies Act.

At the time of the sale, Rangers was owned by majority shareholder Sir David Murray.

Gary Withey worked for the London-based tax specialist Collyer Bristow, which had been recruited by Mr Whyte to oversee the deal.

Image caption Legal advisor Gary Withey was giving evidence at the High Court in Glasgow

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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