Newcastle United have been raided by HMRC officials and Mike Ashley’s main man, Lee Charnley, has been arrested.

A large scale operation has seen 180 Revenue and Customs offers deployed in both the UK and France, with West Ham also having HMRC officers raid their premises.

It is reported that the raids/investigation involves transfer activity at the clubs,with agents also involved, and issues surrounding tax and national insurance.

George Caulkin of The Times broke the story:

“My understanding is that HM Revenue & Customs are investigating transfer activity at Newcastle United & that Lee Charnley has been arrested.”

HMRC confirmed the news:

“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.”

It is also being reported that other football clubs could also end up being part of the investigation.

Talk about raining on the promotion parade.

To be continued…



  • Paul Patterson

    Let’s just hope the punishment is confined to this incompetent dipstick and not a points deduction . .

    • Jezza

      The funny thing was during the celebrations after the match on Monday night I remember taking it all in and thinking to myself “we’ll be in the Premiership next season” but being the eternal pessimist I asked myself what can go wrong now and I suddenly thought of Swindon in 1990 when they got promoted only to be demoted again due to some dodgy dealings. I then corrected myself and thought “we’ll be in the Premiership next season, barring any unforeseen financial irregularities coming to light” though not really taking the thought seriously at all. 36 hours later that thought has already come back to haunt me. You can never count on anything at this club. Somehow they always find a way to let you down.

      • Mrkgw

        If it were to happen Jezza – which is a distinct possibility – then HMRC and the club should refund ALL supporters for ticket sales as tax would have been paid for none other than watching a farce. What a club eh?

        • brin mcardle

          Supposedly the Total amount involved with both clubs is £5million….National Insurance contributions etc..i know its a huge amount of money but why endanger us for this amount. Its bizarre that Rafa supposedly announces to the Spanish press he ha £70 million and hey presto this happens..Ashley has maybe sold his pal down the river. This should not effect the promotion..if so Charnley etc(Ashley needs hanging)..and Rafa will go..its a disgrace

  • Scottpaige

    Unbelievable Jeff!!!!

    Only at Newcastle . Clowns at this club

  • Steve Smith

    I’m not defending any wrong doing, but Ashley and the Media have made us easy targets for this sort of thing.

    You can guarantee you wouldn’t get these types of messy publicised raids going on at the likes of Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool etc.

    We’re just not that well liked. Long gone are the days of us being everybody’s second team.

    None of this is helped by having a tyrant owner or constantly having us fans painted negatively by Sky and the Sun etc.

    • Lord

      Drop the conspiracy stuff, they are also in at West Ham and *Baroness* Karren Brady is not exactly in Mike Ashley territory.

      • Steve Smith

        Hardly conspiracy stuff. Whenever I think West Ham I think hooligan fans who smash up team buses. Another soft target for this sort of thing.

    • Biggs Darklighter

      We, as are West Ham since their stadium move, a threat to the top teams and their big money.

      They have to keep us down.

  • Bleeding Black & White

    I feel sick. We could be relegated to the First Division, here. This could only happen to Newcastle United!

  • Mrkgw

    Be very, very worried. If this cost us promotion then imagine the fall out. Truly awful but if you aren’t Man Utd, the FA generally look to punish.

    • Leazes Ender

      It will take months to put any case together by which time we’ll be into a new season…. and with a bit of luck they’lll start to delve into S***ts Direct and the Shirebrook tax point on United’s merchandise.operations.

      • bobbi fleckman

        For once, you are right MMM, it will take a long time to get anything together, however, we’re talking years rather than months.

        It will of course put off any buyers of NUFC until this is resolved.

        • Leazes Ender

          You have to put a downer on things don’t you?

          • bobbi fleckman

            it says a lot about you to be happy about such an investigation.

            I can only be negative, players may not fancy coming to Newcastle if they find NUFC no longer pay via loopholes and players are paying 45pc tax on everything. Imagine the tax bill if we had a Labour government?

          • Leazes Ender

            I would like Hall and Ashley to be locked up

  • Jimblag23

    Never get comfy supporting Newcastle! Just when things seem to be going well……

  • 8prestondave

    Wonder if they waited to raid the club until we had secured promotion.Imagine if it happened in last couple of weeks and the chaos that would have caused.?

  • justchampion

    Looks like we will be able to buy the club off Ashley after all, when we are sent down to League 2.

    • Biggs Darklighter

      Wouldn’t be a bad thing in the long run

  • HappyToons

    Bit quick to be jumping, it would take a long time to prove all the facts … but is it a real surprise, thinking about our French dealings?

    • Leazes Ender

      Happy days are here again….

      • HappyToons

        The Happy Avatar might not last long, but first on the French dealings…!

  • Grahame Johnson

    Must be some thing that does not add up in our accounts, no doubt money received and tax etc payed does not add up, if they have done what is alleged the club deserves what ever punishment given alas yet again we suffer

    • Leazes Ender

      Ask Charnleys mate bobbi fleckman… they don’t pay tax on advertising because they dont pay for advertising…. Ashleys whole set up revolves around legal definitions and working just within the law….

      …. bloody bigger crooks than the Halls IMHO

      • Steve Smith

        To be fair, I’m surprised it took this long for an investigation.

        A lot has always been made by Penfold etc about how we always pay transfers up front in cash and that nobody else does this.

        Why would anyone turn down free access to credit?

        • Leazes Ender

          Ashley doesn’t like to pay interest…. or it seems tax

          • bobbi fleckman

            I’m sure you love paying tax MMM. It will be nothing to do with advertising, if it is, it will be a very small amount of tax payable be NUFC, equal to that saved by Sports Direct.

            If I were a betting man, this would be to do with payments to / from agents with regard transfers of French players. It could also be something to do with how we account for the amortisation of players contracts / accounting for profit made on dealings which is why UK HMRC is getting giddy.

            The good news is that this will take an absolute age to resolve. If MMM’s crew are right, we’ll have been relegated again by then.

          • Leazes Ender

            For a moment I thought they taken you away too…

          • bobbi fleckman

            Ha, no, they’ve not taken me away yet. The HMRC have said the investigation includes NI (national insurance) which is interesting as this would start to lean towards the payroll of the club and how we pay the staff (I say ‘we’ as the whole of football is involved) and especially the loose use of ‘image rights’ payments which avoid the PAYE system ans especially NI. Some may recall the interesting development from Danny Simpson whose ego appeared to get the better of him when he launched a video game of himself, that was just really to show that his image rights had value.

            In a similar vein, the club have made a lot of Rafa’s image and even Gallowgate flags have obliged in justifying paying Rafa in this way.

    • Biggs Darklighter

      The club does not deserve to be punished, it is the individuals involved that should be punished. The club has been punished enough by the individuals involved already!

  • Leazes Ender

    Gotcha

  • Whickhamrobbie

    Ah well local derby next season after all verses the Mighty Gateshead .
    Doesnt look good but i bet Ashleys well out of it .
    Rangers all over again

  • rod

    watt do u expect with fatty and his dealings

  • Geordie-7676

    This has the potential to be horrific, but, dependent on who was complicit (IF guilty – very possible considering the scale and severity of the raids) in the dealings.

    Ultimately this is a criminal case, so the FA would have to decide whether to punish the club as a whole, and that decision would be based on the level of complicity.

    If this is the dealings of one individual then a decision to deduct points/demote would not realistically be taken, however transfer embargoes are a realistic punishment.

    Any potential punishments however will NOT be implemented until such time as criminal liability has been proven in a court of law.

    Lets all just hope and pray to Zeus that this is nothing more than a very unfortunate misunderstanding. Until we have facts, that’s all we can do!

    • Andy Mac

      You kinda know there’s no “unfortunate misunderstanding” here. This is the Fatman we’re talking about !

      • Geordie-7676

        Because of the french investigation, there is always the possibility that the wrongdoing is on their side as opposed to ours. The same course of action would of been taken if that was the case, so until such time as any information is released, it is worth keeping that in mind.

  • Whickhamrobbie

    Goodbye Rafa .

  • Andy Mac

    The Twitter brigade are well and truly into this.

    “Rafa Googling how to get a cork back into a champagne bottle”
    “Are they investigating how we got £30m for Sissulko”

  • Andynufc

    After this scandal. Mike Ashley and co have really outdone themselves. The mans an absolute cancer to this great club. I’am just hoping and 🙏 that the club and fans don’t get punished for these corrupt rats. Unbelievable

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      If he is involved in any tax wrongdoing, you can bet he’s slippery enough to get someone else to take the rap for him.
      I think it’s too late to get a points deduction now, but I wouldn’t rule out starting in the PL on minus points, especially if there has been irregularity in transfer dealings.
      But who knows? The HMRC’s incompetence is legendary. Look how they messed up the Redknapp case.

      • Jezza

        We are not guaranteed to be in the Premiership next season. Rather than deducting points we could simply be demoted to the second, third or fourth division. It has happened before.

        • Steve Adamson

          Exactly my point. I know you don’t want a makem commenting but I am not here to gloat. If I was a mag I would be seriously worried right now because if someone at the top has been arrested then it is bad news. None of this point deduction nonsense, you are looking at demotion to the bottom tier if the allegations are true.
          I would not wish that on the fans of any club (yes even you mags)) but if the idiots you have in charge are corrupt then sadly the fans pay the price.

          • Guest 2

            No rules regarding anything other than insolvency.

          • Paul Patterson

            Huge buffoon!

          • Paul Patterson

            Buffoon!

  • Geordiegiants

    It’s funny how the cancer distanced himself from the board and installed Moncur, Tufty, Chatty man and Penfold as the board. He is like the teflon don, one day though it will all catch up with him. With a bit of luck they will arrest Tufty and charge him with crimes against football.

    • Lord

      Spot on, I bet the HMRC will find nothing on MA, he’s too clever.

  • huntforbeer

    I hope that Charnley hasn’t got an offshore bank account named after his dog!

  • Viru leckworth

    If the club is punished for this, jail will be the safest place for Charnley. What a set of greedy idiots front this club of blameless supporters.

    • Jimblag23

      Imagine if he was sent to a prison in Newcastle 😂👊🏻

      • Viru leckworth

        I would have him in the stocks in Eldon square, then maybe exiled to North Korea.

        • Jimblag23

          He’d probably do well as one of Kim Jong-Uns cronies, he’s used to dictators.

          • Viru leckworth

            He’ll have to get used to porridge.

  • Steve Adamson

    Well done on getting promoted guys you deserve it. You along with Brighton were streets ahead of anyone else, so big up to the players and manager.
    However, todays arrest of Lee Charnely raises questions. Given that Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias have very close links to Glasgow Rangers and we all know what happened to them because of financial wrong doings.
    Instead of looking forward to Chelsea or Man City next season maybe you should look towards Yeovil or Crawley Town.
    You think it could not happen to a club like Newcastle?
    I bet Glasgow Rangers and their fans thought it could not happen to them. With all respect Rangers are massively bigger than Newcastle United.
    If there is any parity and justice in Football, if The Scottish FA can boot Rangers to the bottom and tell them to start again then so can the English FA. If the stories are true that also includes West Ham.
    As I said guys congrats on getting promoted but I would not party too hard just yet.

    • Lord

      Rangers went into administration and were deducted points for that. They then did not file accounts and were demoted for that. Some of the reasons for going into administration were due to misuse of pension funds and other tax avoidance schemes, but it was the results of coming out of those schemes that caused a liability to HMRC they couldn’t pay and administration followed.

      Everything I’ve read today indicates a matter between individuals and the HMRC and, at most, involves about £5m, not enough to put the club under. It’s not good and reflects badly on the club and the owner, but it’s not Rangers.

      Thanks for recognising the deserved promotion. Hoping you guys have a great time in the Championship next season.

    • Jezza

      Congrats to you too for being the first bitter Sunderland supporter to come crawling out of the woodwork on to our forum in the wake of this news. I’m sure you felt good writing that comment but not half as good as you felt this time last year when that plane was flying over St James’s Park and you were looking forward to another season in the Premiership. Be sure to give our regards to Burton Albion.

      • Steve Adamson

        Who is bitter? Not me. We will get relegated and I will certainly pass on your best wishes to the Burton lads. However I was just expressing my concern. I would say maybe next season you could say hello to Geoff Stelling when you go to Hartlepool, but sadly it looks like they might get relegated so you will not have that pleasure.

        • Scottpaige

          Concentrate on your own misiable plight u clown

        • Jezza

          Ha ha, you do make me laugh. The words “clutching” and “straws” spring to mind. One thing is certain, what ever may or may not ultimately happen, this investigation is going to be a long drawn out process. Nothing is going to change overnight. Newcastle United WILL be in the Premiership next season which is more than can be said for Sunderland so don’t go booking any planes this time. After tonight’s result you won’t even have the dubious self proclaimed honour of finishing the season as North East top dogs either ha ha. Never mind maybe you can go head to head with Aston Villa for the title of “Biggest club in the Championship” next season. See which of your clubs can have the largest section of their ground closed ha ha.

          • paul smith

            In the last 10 years you’ve gone down twice, so I wouldn’t get too comfortable, with Ashley still in charge and all the recent news reports there’s clearly something wrong at St James Park. Both clubs fundamentally have serious issues, to be honest I’d love to see both in the premier league, and maybe we could see a new era of football in the NE. With regards to the top dog NE comments. Sunderland beat you 6 on the bounce (during which the self proclaimed best fans in the world smashed up their own town centre after losing 3-0) before being the team to send you down, as the most expensive premier league flops in history (£80 million spent in vain). The icing on that cake still tastes as sweet and will take some beating. But I digress, we are deservedly going down, the team have been awful, and management have drained the passion from the fans, we’ve skirted around relegation for too long and I’ve made my peace with it a long time ago. I’m not a follower of this site, I was passing through trying to find more info on the HMRC case. I love the rivalry between fans it’s what keeps the passion alive, and I genuinely hope you stay up next season, if Rafa stays it looks like there has been a resurgence of the old Newcastle which are always entertaining to watch. All the best from a long suffering Mackem, enjoy the party, I know we did.

          • Jezza

            I agree with your sentiments about wanting both teams to be doing well. I remember a rainy Sunday afternoon in May 1987 when I stood in the main stand paddock at Roker Park watching a match against Gillingham and unlike 2,000 of my fellow Mags in the away section I was secretly hoping SAFC could avoid the drop to division three.

            You are not quite right to say that we were the most expensive team to go down. That £80 million was only spent after years of Ashley systematically asset stripping the club of all our best playing talent through his policy of using the transfer market as a revenue stream. Sunderland didn’t send us down last season, no than any of the other teams who took 4 or more points off us. It was ultimately Ashley, Carr, Charnley and McClaren who sent us down.

            I have got nothing against Sunderland fans. I’m not going to hate anybody for supporting their team but I am currently enjoying a quiet chuckle at the expense of the plane hiring banner hanging element at this moment in time it has to be said.

    • Jimblag23

      Shearer or McCoist?
      Yeah Ranger are waaaaay bigger 😂

    • Franzcarrsuperstar

      Rangers went bust mate. Had to reform as a new club hence start from the bottom. We’ll probably get a fine. Remember Amdy Faye… it will blow over…

  • toonterrier

    What a shame. Such a lovely bloke. Hope he gets no more than twenty years in jail.

    • GToon

      And the appropriate attention whilst in jail. Obviously!

      • Jimblag23

        👌🏼👈

        • GToon

          Yes, Jim. That kind of attention!

          • Tino o

            These comments were sponsored by Vaseline

          • toonterrier

            Go on rub it in

  • Ian R

    the biggest issue here in the short term will not be guilty or innocent, points deduction or no points deduction, relegation or promotion, that will need time for the investigation to run its course and any consequential actions to follow or not thereafter, it will instead be the doubt that it will place right now and the forthcoming weeks & months in the minds of potential transfer targets who may be influenced rightly or wrongly as to which league they may be committing to play in!

  • Lord

    So if Lee Charnley’s been arrested – who’s our acting MD…. Bob Moncur?

  • Guest 2

    Like, who believes Charnley was capable of dreaming up a tax and NI dodge for 7 years? He was the club Secretary prior to his lofty promotion! Someone’s sticky fat fingers are all over this and the brown nosing Penfold is his scapegoat.

    • Albert Stubbins

      aye cos a couple of poxy million is gonna have the countryS 6th richest man creaming in his pants isnt it? ffs- its not even a decent night out for the bloke!!

  • dillon

    Are there still a set of gallows at the gallowgate end.

  • Kneebotherm8

    Why’s everybody overreacting,especially the mackems,let’s wait and see what develops. It’ll probably just end up with Charnley doing time so who gives a xxxx.

  • mark

    lets just hope the hmrc take fatty to the cleaners to the point where he has to sell the club

    • Kneebotherm8

      Or the premier league/FA deem him to be “not a fit and proper person” to run a football club(we’ve known that for long enough) and ban him for life.

  • Geordiegiants

    Sounds like it’s all on Penfolds toes, it’s looking like Marseille and Newcastle.

  • MadMag83

    Could be dodgy dealings with Marseille on the Cabella and Thauvin transfers. And perhaps between Marseille and West Ham in over the Payet transfer?

    Carr’s obsession with France is the gift that keeps on giving, bloody tool.

  • Marcus Marsh

    Just a reminder before you all party too hard, the FA and Football League have history in denying promotion for financial irregularities linked to the club. Just saying.

    • Jezza

      Nice try. One thing is for certain, whatever happens Sunderland will not benefit from another unmerited place in the top division this time so you can give up on that slender hope and get that notion out of your head.

    • Albert Stubbins

      The Mackems won’t benefit like they did when Swindon got done all those years ago. The Mackems need divine intervention to save them- a club in perpetual decline !!

  • Albert Stubbins

    I reckon he might CRACK under questioning!!!!!!! ;)

  • Albert Stubbins

    After the Thauvin and Cabella transfers HMRC should be giving us money back!!!!

    • Andy Mac

      Could we restrospectively claim for Marcelino, Boumsong and EMO ?

  • Leazes Ender

    Its quite ironic that it was Charnley who hired the prison catering company Sodexo to supply the club with pies and other consumables….. this time next year he could be making those very savoury delights in HMP Acklington…..

    Just a thought.

    • GToon

      Yes and perhaps they could use the photo of him above on the packaging to promote them. “Charnley liked them so much he went to jail for them”, or something like that. Or “feeling greedy and want to stuff your face, then try these Charnley pies”.
      To be honest I’m not that bothered about the outcome at all. What’s the worst that could happen? We get relegated to league two and have to sell all our players? So what, if it gets rid of you know who. There’ll always be a club, pitch, ground and fans so I don’t care what happens beyond that. Hope Charnley rats on Ashley.

      • Andy Mac

        I’ve said it before if going down to the Northern League gets rid of the odious fat bloater then I’d take it especially if the Fatphckr was banged up in jail for every season we rose through the leagues.

  • Andy Mac

    Poor old Lee fancy getting probed on a Wednesday morning and he hadnt brought his lingerie into the office ?