Former Rangers boss Paul Murray feared the house was bugged after a burglary while the club was on the sidelines

In the first of the Paul Murray diaries, the former chairman opens the accounts of the financial crisis that shook Ibrox.

GB About: Rangers fc Publish: 02/14/2022 Edit: 02/14/2022 Author: Gardener

Paul MurrayPaul Murray saw it coming long before most. So instead of waiting for the heartbreak of Valentine's Day, the Rangers board member took the family on a ski trip to France. It was 2012 and Rangers were on the brink of being dragged into a financial abyss and into the hands of administrators - the first step towards liquidation. Paul, 57, had been warning all along that this would be where the club he loved would end. He told David Murray that day was inevitable, but it fell on deaf ears. Rangers soccer fans support their club February 18, 2012 at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow. What Paul could not possibly foresee, however, was the sinister turn of events that unfolded in his empty Borders home in the middle of the night. The events of the hours leading up to the multi-million pound scandal that shook the game to its core are a chilling twist in a startlingly dark tale of deceit, deception and betrayal that he's never told before. Being ordered by police to search the family home for hearing aids was something he was reluctant to discuss in public. Paul would ultimately lead the group that saved the Rangers, but 10 years later he's still unnerved by what happened. He's finally ready to give his unedited account of the events that almost led to the demise of the club he loves. It's a story he tells with the help of his impeccably organized mind as a chartered accountant. He tells me, “Valentine's Day 10 years ago was actually a Tuesday. We went skiing in France on Saturday. “Late Sunday evening or early Monday morning I received a call from our housekeeper telling me that the burglar alarm had gone off. "It was about 4am and she was obviously very upset. But she told me the police would take care of it, so I told her to go back to bed and we'd work things out in the morning. "But when I came back I met the police officer in charge of the investigation and I was really quite surprised by what he told me. "He wasn't a big football fan but he knew who I was and that I was involved with Rangers. "He said to me, 'Something really strange is happening here. I've been doing this kind of work for a long time, but I've never seen a case like this. "What he found strange was that everyone who entered the house had spent a great deal of time and care removing the glass panes from the French doors. Administrator Paul Clark speaks to the media about Rangers' financial crisis in February 2012. They hadn't just crept in like a normal break and entry. The policeman said, "It's really strange. “The house was not damaged and nothing was stolen. "Then, completely unprompted, he said to me, 'It's almost like someone tried to plant something in your house — a bug or something — and then rushed off when the alarm went off'. It was weird saying that. Apparently I then swept the house and checked for bugs, there was nothing.” Paul and I first came into contact when The Record broke the news of David Murray's intention to sell control of the Ibrox Club. In the dizzying months that followed, leading up to the ill-fated takeover in May 2011, Paul became more than just a trusted whistleblower to me. We are still close friends to this day. He continues: "Over time, you and I have had our own reservations about phones suddenly acting weird and making strange clicking noises during a call. It's been a very strange time overall.” Sir David Murray sold Rangers to Craig Whyte for £1 while taking on commitments including a £18million bank debt. It's all true. At times it felt as if Paul - who by nature didn't fit into this gloomy world - could come crashing down on his head. "But it was the date that made it significant, as did what the police officer said to me. "I didn't give it much thought, but a lot of what's happened over the years just didn't feel right. The truth is, Paul had made himself a serious inconvenience to the people who took over. Let's put it this way, without his repeated and vocal warnings, this whole Rangers takeover would have been a lot easier. He nodded: "I'm pretty sure, if you look back at what was written - and it was your newspaper that did most of it - that I made my concerns known from the start. New Rangers owner Craig Whyte waved to fans in May 2011: "The week the club was taken over I did an interview saying this was going to end up in administration in 12 months . As it turned out, it was almost to the day. “In June 2011 you wrote a story about the club being funded by mortgages for future season tickets. "It was just a lot worse than anyone could have imagined." In January 2012, six months after the story, which the club denied, The Record revealed the full ruinous extent of this notorious deal with lender Ticketus. He sighed, "It had come. You guys at Record wrote the season ticket story that pretty much blew that thing up. “It was obvious there was no going back because the club's future earnings were sold out. “Nikica Jelavic was also sold on the last day of the January transfer window, so it was clear where the journey was going. HMRC tried to appoint their own administrator so they could look closely at the books. “But the club was able to stop that and appoint Duff and Phelps. And then, the next day, the inevitable happened.”

Keywords: Rangers, first, Craig Whyte, May 2011, Paul, David Murray, France, 2012, morning, 57, the next day, Phelps, Duff, January, the last day, Nikica Jelavic, Record, six months, January 2012, June 2011, 12 months, New Rangers, the years, Paul -, this day, the dizzying months

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