Wednesday’s drama involving Newcastle United, with the questioning of Lee Charnley and HMRC raids on St James Park & training ground, was never going to quickly fade away.

Lee Charnley was allowed to go home last night after questioning and the HMRC investigation will no doubt take a considerable time before we find out if there has been any wrongdoing by any party, whether at Newcastle or elsewhere.

However, it was always likely to spark the media into life and there is one very interesting report this morning.

The Sun claim that the whole HMRC investigation was sparked when they looked at the move of Demba Ba from West Ham to Newcastle, the player said to have a relegation clause at the time that was triggered, allowing the striker to join NUFC for ‘free’.

This then led to numerous other transfers being looked at, with those of Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy from Lille to Newcastle amongst those claimed to be under investigation.

However, The Sun report includes an exclusive on another Ligue 1 player who joined Newcastle – Henri Saivet.

The midfielder moving to St James Park in January 2016 for a reported fee of £4.5m.

Franck Peslerbe was the agent of Henri Saivet for 10 years but claims that Newcastle United’s Chief Scout, Graham Carr, told the then Bordeaux player that he had to move agents if he wanted to sign for the Magpies.

Saivet duly switched to agent Rudy Raba and he signed for Newcastle, a transfer that baffled NUFC fans at the time as the club was fighting a relegation battle and were desperate for defenders and strikers, yet had numerous central midfield options. Henri Saivet ending up making only two Premier League starts and didn’t play a single minute of football under Rafa Benitez.

The Sun report that Peslerbe also alleges that Newcastle United increased the agent’s fee from the standard five% of Saivet’s £35,000 a week salary to eight%. Which meant Raba banked £800,000, £300,000 more than Peslerbe would have earned.

The Sun state that they have seen the contract Henri Saivet signed and it also demanded that Raba’s commission be paid upfront, rather than the usual staggered payments over the length of the deal.

Franck Peslerbe:

“Henri Saivet called me and said he had received a call from Graham Carr (pictured above to the left of Mike Ashley) who asked him to sign a mandate with Raba if he really wanted to move to Newcastle.

“Carr had apparently said to Henri that it was difficult to make a deal with a French agent, so it was better for him to let this other agent work on the deal.

“I immediately called and emailed Carr to give him the chance to say he had no direct part in it. I got no response so I emailed Charnley about it and he replied telling me not to contact Carr anymore about this case.

“But what reason could there be for Carr to tell the player to sign for another agent?”

Recent seasons have seen Newcastle United be one of the clubs to make the highest payments to agents each season, regulations mean that each club has to give the total paid to representatives/agents ove the course of each 12 months.



  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    I along with a few others have always thought there were some highly dubious deals going down concerning players from France, if the allegations are true then my guess is Carr`s been getting backhanders from agents

    • Wor Lass

      We`d all pay to give Carr a good backhander!

      • MadMag83

        With a cricket bat!

    • mentalman

      No matter what degree Carr has been involved in this he is going to be the fall guy

    • Burt Humperdink

      as much as it is likely to be true, I bet this sort of thing happens all the time.

  • Leazes Ender

    When are they going to look into Xisco and Denis Wise?

    • Wor Lass

      If they look into Dennis Wise they`ll see straight out the other side!

      • Geordiegiants

        You mean around the corner!

    • HappyToons

      They won’t find anything the lobotomy and part brain removals were completed a long time ago …’ In Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and its 1975 film adaptation, lobotomy is described as “frontal-lobe castration”, a form of punishment and control after which “There’s nothin’ in the face. Just like one of those store dummies.” In one patient, “You can see by his eyes how they burned him out over there; his eyes are all smoked up and gray and deserted inside.”[

      Sounds like a few Sunlan’ fans I know …

  • Wor Lass

    Interesting stuff. It`ll take ages for enough “facts” to come out for people to make sound judgements about what has really gone on. Suffice it to say that the Saivet deal in particular has been a bit of a mystery to the fans from the off – “off” being a very suitable word for it! Every cloud has a silver lining and – if the Sun`s “revelations” are borne out – one could well be the departure of our aged talent scout. I believe HMRC are amenable to making deals to reclaim their dues so as to save time and money so this may not become the full-blown legal circus people are expecting but if it flushes out the odd nook and cranny at SJP and gives Rafa a bit more room to flex his muscles then so much the better.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Mike will pay them off !

  • Geordiegiants

    I just hope it all comes out and Fatty and his Minions are banned from owning and working in football. We might lose Rafa and we might get relegated, but for the greater good of NUFC I am prepared if it means being rid of the cancer.

    • Andy Mac

      There’s another article entirely. How far down the football pyramid would you go if it meant the Fatman was sacked and sent to jail ?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    How ironic would it be if one of Mike`s Minions Carr was taking bungs behind his back
    much as i dislike Penfold he may well have been conned as well by the old Gimp
    lets hope it`s Au Revoir to Graham
    Nufc Priceless

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    My guess is sometime down the line Mike will be in front of a commons select committee saying ” I didn`t have a clue what was going on”

  • Son of Wilt

    I’m staggered this stuff hasn’t been in the public domain already considering the amount of money in the modern game, if they follow every deal then most of the top 2 divisions will be relegated to the Conference. I remember when Matt Jarvis going to Wet Spam when allerdyce was there, and it was said that Jarvis was told what agent to use, and it had to be one favoured by allerdyce. Carroll to the dippers and seemingly the same agent was involved for both parties, the whole thing stinks. Agents are utter parasites.

    • Biggs Darklighter

      Go back a little further and you find managers actually acting as players agents. All the big names!

  • mark

    u cant tell me fatty never had a clue watt was going on

  • Lord

    I wonder how many of those players Allardyce signed for us filled his pockets in the same way it seems Carr has profited.

    I don’t have much sympathy for McClaren but you have to feel for him battling relegation and then seeing £5m spent on Saivet with no reason other then filling greedy pockets.

    If Charnley is genuinely clueless in all this then hopefully a day trip with the HMRC will convince him the need to ‘retire’ our esteemed chief scout. Maybe Graham can retire in France.

    • MadMag83

      Wormwood Scrubs would be a more preferable retirement home for that snake.

  • MadMag83

    Sounds like Carr and Charnley trying to make a few bob on the side. Much is made about Charnley being one if the lowest paid MD’s, perhaps this is how he was supplementing his income. If the allegations are true then it just shows the trio of Ashley, Penfold and Carr are only interested in lining their own pockets at Newcastle United’s expense.

  • dillon

    Dont believe what you read in the SUN

    • mic fos

      The thing is they are quoting the respective agent, so unless they have misunderstood in translation, there’s a real possibility this might be true. Always wondered what was meant when it was said Ashley ‘trusted’ Carr and Charley; I think we get the idea now. Stinks, the whole bloody club, not just this tax issue. And pigface is so arrogant he thinks/thought he could get away with anything. Also this only came about through the French deciding to investigate – the FA and IR have done nothing on this, only now due to the French investigation

  • Sid James

    What a Carry On

    • Lord

      Carry On Sneaking

  • Whickhamrobbie

    a lot on managers / agents are in the trough Fergusons son remember him / harrys dog . so nowt new

  • 1957

    So Carr and / or Charnley may have been taking backhanders from specific agents who were being pay higher than normal commissions. If that turns out to be the case and in fact they have defrauded the club, Mike will show no mercy and will sue them, if only to cover any involvement he had in it.

    I’ve no doubt this has happened in the past at NUFC. Remember when Freddie Shepherds boy, Kenny, acted as one and represented the club from his offices in SJP.

    • Andy Mac

      I do, see above comment.

  • Andy Mac

    With the amount of money swirling around the PL is it any surprise that agents, scouts and even managers want to get their noses in the trough as well ?

    What I want this club to do in the future, when the Fat Terwattt has finally gone, is to tell the fans where the money goes and who benefits ? If Carr is squirrelling away a few hundred thousand by recommending the likes of Cabella, Thauvin, Saivet and De Jong then let us know so we can take it out on his ass !

  • Andy Mac

    Let’s not forget that Fat Freddy’s son was employed by Rooneys agent (Paul Stretford) and
    worked out of SJP. When Stretford decided that it was time for the
    little fkr to move on he got NUFC (via his employees Father) to offer £22m for the granny shgr so
    Man U had to come in with a higher bid.

    SAF was not pleased as he’d earmarked transfer funds for other players but had to make the move to stop NUFC (in theory) taking his player.