Whyte, whose planned buyout of Sir David Murray’s majority shareholding is gathering pace, took in the Europa League game with PSV Eindhoven at Ibrox.
Despite being shorn of the services of several key players, the Gers battled valiantly for a place in the quarter-finals for 90 minutes.
All their efforts, though, were ultimately in vain as a fine Dutch side won 1-0 to progress to the last eight of the competition.
Rangers fans expect their club to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League, not just the Europa League, every season and then compete when they get there.
So seeing them do their utmost and still come up some way short must have made for sobering viewing for multi-millionaire financier Whyte.
If Rangers cannot overcome a club from what is now one of the continent’s lesser leagues, then how much investment will be required to ensure they can perform at a higher level in the future?
Given that many members of this current Rangers team will not be involved next season, the likelihood is that considerable sums of money will need to be spent.
Of course, some poor decisions by Austrian referee Robert Schorgenhofer and his four assistants undoubtedly hindered the Scottish champions’ cause.
Schorgenhofer failed to spot a deliberate handball by PSV player Atiba Hutchinson on his own goal-line during a period of sustained Rangers pressure in the second half.
Had a penalty been awarded -- and video replays proved beyond doubt it should have been -- and netted, then Walter Smith’s side could very well have been in the draw today.
Smith, whose lengthy career in European football as a manager was brought to an end with the narrow loss, was upset his side had not been awarded key decisions.
He said: “We applied far more pressure to PSV in the second half of the match than we did in the first and we had a couple of good chances. Then they handled the ball on the line.
“It was clearly handball. I don’t know how many officials were involved in the game. However, they all missed it.
“Just after that Madjid Bougherra was brought down in the box. I thought that was a clear penalty as well. We are a little bit disappointed with that.”
Smith added: “We didn’t play particularly well in a formation which has been successful for us in European games. Losing the goal the way we did was disappointing.
“But I feel we should have got back on level terms in the second half and could have gone on to edge it after that. We would have deserved it.
“I feel frustrated that we put so much into the game and failed to get anything out of it. My disappointment has nothing to do with it being my last European game.
“We have had a better crack at Europe this season, but it is not easy for us at the present moment. We have handled the European games quite well.”
One position Rangers may not need to spend money to strengthen in the next few years is on the left side of midfield.
Gregg Wylde, aged just 19, started the first European match of his embryonic professional career against the Dutch league leaders last night.
He was a revelation. He showed blistering pace down his flank and an ability to deliver good crosses into the box. On top of all that, he tried his luck at goal on occasion and showed he is not afraid to put in a tackle.
His emergence comes in the same season that Murray Park graduates Kyle Hutton and Jamie Ness have made the breakthrough and augurs well for the future of Rangers.
Smith said: “He played very well when we got the chance to get the ball out to him. He is direct and put good balls into the box. We were unfortunate not to get onto the end of them.”
Given the knee injuries Kyle Bartley and Kyle Lafferty picked up in the second half last night, Wylde may now find himself playing in the Co- operative Insurance Cup Final at Hampden on Sunday.
The fitness of both Bartley and Lafferty, who was stretchered off in agony in the second half of the PSV Eindhoven match, will be assessed by Rangers’ medical staff today.
It was the last thing Smith, who will be able to welcome back striker Nikica Jelavic against Celtic, needed ahead of such a massive match for his club.
However, Davie Weir, who was removed at half-time as Rangers switched to a 4-4-2 formation and pushed for an equaliser against PSV, is fit to play in the sixth Old Firm meeting of the 2010/11 campaign.
“It just was a tactical decision to take Davie off,” Smith explained. “I just felt we had to change a formation that had worked for us well in Europe this season that was not working so well for us last night.”
ONE BY ONE
By Matthew Lindsay
ALEXANDER Rusty Lucky not to gift the visitors a goal early on with a slack clearance. Helpless to prevent Jeremain Lens netting. Made a superb one-handed save from Ola Toivonen in the second half.
FOSTER Gritty The on-loan Aberdeen right-back was caught out in the build-up to the goal. Stuck to his task manfully after uncharacteristic lapse in concentration.
BOUGHERRA Spirited A game of two halves for the Algerian centre-half. Looked out of sorts in the opening 45 minutes. Improved greatly after half-time and spearheaded the push for an equaliser.
WEIR Unconvincing Shocking back pass on the half-hour mark nearly gifted PSV striker Marcus Berg a goal that would have ended the Scottish champions’ hopes of progressing. Replaced at half-time for tactical reasons.
BARTLEY Brave Hardly involved in the first half when he was on the left side of the three centre-halves. Came into the game more in the second half and was denied a goal by Andreas Isaksson. Played on despite sustaining a nasty injury late on.
PAPAC Reliable The Bosnian left-back was, once again, a rock defensively. He did not, however, offer as much going forward as he is capable of as Rangers strived in vain to stay in Europe.
WHITTAKER Busy Probably his side’s best midfielder. Was constantly scrapping for possession and searching for an opening to exploit.
DAVIS Quiet Huffed and puffed, but failed to exert a significant influence on proceedings. The central midfielder is not at his best playing in such a defensive formation in Europe.
EDU Poor Shot weakly at Isaksson on the hour after being teed up by a Whittaker header. Struggled to get to grips with the impressive PSV central midfield pairing of Orlando Engelaar and Atiba Hutchinson.
WYLDE Excellent The promising teenager made his European debut for Rangers in difficult circumstances. Rose to the occasion. Made some excellent breaks down the left flank and crossed well.
LAFFERTY Crocked Preferred to El-Hadji Diouf as the lone frontman. With so little service he made precious little impact. Was quite often careless with possession. Stretchered off injured.
NAISMITH Bright Returned from a month out injured at the start of the second half. His introduction coincided with an increase in tempo and hit the bar with a header before Hutchinson’s blatant handball.
DIOUF Fine Came on for the crocked Lafferty and beavered away tirelessly.