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How Charles Green and Craig Whyte took every Rangers fan for a ride

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BARRY looks back on the second anniversary of one of the blackest days in Rangers history and at how two men almost destroyed the club he loves. 14 Feb 2014 07:33

James Chapelard/SWNS GP34240151-2127317.jpg Whyte addresses the Rangers fans at Ibrox in February 2012, assuring them that the club is in safe hands. It is the last time he is seen at the stadium.

ROSES are red, violets are blue. There must be a reason most romantic poems start that way.

Well, anything is better than Green and Whyte. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

But on this valentine’s day, the second anniversary of one of the blackest events in the history of Rangers, I can’t help but reflect on what this pair have done to my old club.

Craig Whyte. Just the mention of his name sends a cold shiver down my spine. No Rangers fan will ever forget what he did and all the pain he has caused.

Until he arrived on the scene the thought of Rangers going into administration was unimaginable. For people like myself, Rangers was always more than just a football club. It was untouchable. Unbreakable.

But, in less than a year in charge, Whyte changed all that for good.

Every Rangers fan will have his own memories of February 14, 2012. It was our JFK moment.

I think I had been training that morning but, to be honest, I couldn’t say if it was New Year or New York.

All I really remember is picking up my phone and seeing a huge amount of missed calls and text messages. I opened up the first one from a mate of mine and it read simply: RANGERS ARE IN ADMIN.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading so I switched straight on to the Sky Sports News app on my iPhone.

To tell you the truth, even though I could see the headlines flashing up on “breaking news” I still couldn’t and didn’t want to believe it.

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In Pictures: The key players in the Rangers crisisView gallery

I flicked over to the BBC to make sure it wasn’t a mistake. And then the emotions began to hit.

It was a mixture of shock, sadness, anger and confusion. The club that had played such a huge part of my life was in serious trouble.

I was worried too. Worried not just for my pals in the dressing room but for all the other employees around the club – people I had known and who had looked after me since I was an eight-year-old kid.

I thought about them all – the tea ladies, the secretaries and all the other staff behind the scenes. People who had given their lives to Rangers. People whose whole life revolved around that football club.

I knew how hard this would hit each and every one of them. I could feel their devastation. I was devastated with them.

And most of all I kept asking myself how this man, Craig Whyte, could have placed them in such a position.

I must admit, even as I write this, I can feel the emotion building up inside me again. But it’s different now. It’s just sheer anger. That’s the only feeling I have for that man.

I put my hands up. He fooled me hook, line and sinker. Like most fans, I looked upon him as the club’s saviour. Rangers had come through a difficult financial period and here was the man who was going to fix it with all of his millions.

What I didn’t know – what no-one knew until they read it in the Record Sport a few months later – was that they weren’t his millions at all.

He had bought Rangers with money from Ticketus, after ?mortgaging off season tickets which hadn’t even been sold yet.

He had paid for the club with money that was still in the pockets of the very fans who had put so much faith in him.

In fact, looking back, what he did was absolutely disgusting. He took each and every one of us for mugs. He didn’t give a damn about the damage he caused or the people he hurt.

It really does turn my stomach to think that he’s still wandering around out there, not in the least bit sorry for all the misery he caused.

Angry? You bet I’m angry. I’m even angry at myself for ever thinking this guy was the real deal.

If Whyte was good enough for Sir David Murray then he was good enough for me, and the vast majority of Rangers fans, no question.

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Craig Williamson/SNS Group

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In pictures: Charles Green at RangersView gallery

Having spoken to David Murray since, I know that he feels a sense of regret for what happened next. He was as deeply shocked and saddened by the rest of us because he was given assurances that Whyte had the cash required to take Rangers forward.

Whyte did have the money. He had millions of it. The only problem was, it just wasn’t his to spend.

The guy didn’t sink that money into Rangers as he had promised. He just sank the club.

And, although I’ve never actually come straight out and asked David Murray why he sold Rangers to such a man, I know he feels a deep sense of regret, and anger too. Whyte is the one big black mark he’ll always resent.

And then there was Charles Green. Another man who should hold his head in shame. Another man who took advantage of the Rangers fans, just when they were clinging on to the hope that things could not possibly get any worse than they already were.

We were entitled to think that administration was our club’s rock bottom. But we were wrong. Green made sure of it. Just when we thought this guy had arrived to fix the mess that Whyte had made, what we got was a man who was only interested in building up his own bank balance.

My friends in the dressing room – guys like Lee McCulloch, Allan McGregor, Steven Naismith, Kirk Broadfoot and Steve Davis – were in an impossible position when Green failed to bring the club out of administration through a CVA.

They each had to make their own decisions but I know for a fact they were all heartbroken about what was going on. These are real Rangers men who were feeling the same hurt as the supporters.

And even today, two years on, the boys who left know a lot of fans will never welcome them back to Ibrox.

That’s a pain they will have to carry around with them forever and a day.

Like me, all they ever dreamed of was playing football for Rangers. That dream was taken away from them by the actions of Whyte and Green.

Two years down the line my mate Big Jig is the only one who remains. And you know what? I’m starting to think the worst is finally behind him.

It’s been two months since the agm and things appear to be calm. After all the chaos, no news is good news where Rangers are concerned.

There is also excitement about what is happening on the park because of the prospect of a run to the Scottish Cup Final.

There’s still a couple of rounds to go but the draw has opened up nicely and if they reach the final I’ll be at Celtic Park on May 17.

Nothing would make me prouder than to see my old pal lift that trophy because that’s what loving Rangers is really all about.

It’s a shame guys like Green and Whyte will never, ever get it.

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Gies Fecking Piece Bazza! How many ex-players that were hurting stepped up 2 years ago to put in some of the millions they took from the club ,back in to help? Literally none from what I see.they all did interview after interview but putting something back , eh naw!

Ps. How is Sir David's EBT turning out for you Fergie?

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Wow, it's Green's fault that HMRC wouldn't sign off a CVA?

If Ferguson has a problem with people lining their own pockets then he wants to have a look at his own EBT and his free transfer buddies.

If he has a problem with the CVA not being signed off he wants to look at HMRC and the messiah Dave King.

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