West Ham & Newcastle Raided

Offices at Newcastle and West Ham have been raided as part of an investigation into suspected tax and National Insurance fraud. A number of arrests were made related to £5m of suspected Income Tax and National Insurance fraud and that one of those was Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley.

Newcastle’s players were arriving at the club’s training ground while the raids were ongoing, but despite the obvious shock continued with their normal daily duties as they prepared for Friday’s clash with Cardiff City. The raids are understood to be part of a wider HMRC investigation into the transfer of players between clubs in France and the UK. It is thought their focus has been on remuneration in terms of image rights, benefits in kind and payments to agents, which may have defrauded the public purse.

A statement from HMRC read: “HMRC has arrested several men working within the professional football industry for a suspected Income Tax and National Insurance fraud.

“180 HMRC officers have been deployed across the UK and France today. Investigators have searched a number of premises in the north east and south east of England and arrested the men and also seized business records, financial records, computers and mobile phones.

“The French authorities are assisting the UK investigation, have made arrests and several locations have been searched in France.

“This criminal investigation sends a clear message that, whoever you are, if you commit tax fraud you can expect to face the consequences. As this is an ongoing investigation HMRC is unable to provide any further detail at this time.”

A West Ham United spokesperson said, “The Club is cooperating fully with HMRC to assist their enquiries. No further comment will be made at this time.”

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