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.

There has been an official statement now from West Ham.

Short and sweet:

“The club is cooperating fully with HMRC to assist their enquiries.

“No further comment will be made at this time.”

As yet there has nothing official from Newcastle United after the raid and Charnley’s arrest.

From the Newcastle angle, George Caulkin who covers North East sport for 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 investigation was in action:

“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.



  • Tony Mann

    Only at Newcastle can we lurch from one debacle to another. Shameful .

  • Toonbadger

    Looks like Fat Mick and Penfold have done it again. What a pair of morons they are

    • Biggs Darklighter

      Complete.

  • Steve Hughes

    Will this affect our recent promotion to the Premier League?

    • Jezza

      Possibly.

      • Steve Smith

        And also possibly not.

        Being “that guy”, after a very cursory glance over the FA rules and regulations etc, points deductions and transfer embargos tend to be limited to unauthorised disruption of games and ineligible signing/fielding of players respectively.

        Although this doesn’t mean that indirectly the club wouldn’t be affected through independent fines from HMRC and our legal system.

      • Geordie-7676

        No it wont.

        • Jezza

          How can you be so sure? Please explain because I’m concerned.

          • Geordie-7676

            Any punishments that the club could possibly face will only be implemented once legal proceedings have been concluded.

            The FA would have to issue any punishments based upon an unconfirmed criminal activity, that if found to be false, would leave the FA liable to a damages lawsuit from the clubs. The FA wont risk that.

            There isn’t anything specific in the FA rules and regulations either that specifies what would happen.

            Either way, the season will of long started before any court cases start, never mind resolved. UNLESS of course every single person that has been accused admit guilt. Not likely that really is it.

          • Jezza

            What you say makes a lot of sense. My concerns stem from the only precedent I can think of which was Swindon in 1990 when the football authorities acted extremely quickly, demoting the club within a couple of weeks of them clinching promotion so that their name never even appeared in the published fixture list for the top division the following season. Of course those were entirely different circumstances, with Swindon punished for breaching Football League betting rules and the world of football has changed beyond all recognition since then so your explanation has somewhat lessened my concerns over NUFC’s immediate future.

          • Geordie-7676

            Like you say mate, that precedent is far-removed from the situation at hand now.

            Also, if you have a look at the daily mail now (i know its the daily mail, but it would be quite a far fetched story to just pull from the sky) it would appear that Marseille are actually the central culprits to this whole thing.

            Only time will tell, but i feel there is a possibility NUFC may not be guilty of anything criminal…..naivety maybe, but criminal, i doubt.

          • Lord

            A lot will depend on whether anyone at NUFC have breached league rules as opposed to HMRC rules. If there’s been dodgy tax evasion going on, it could be bad news for the individuals concerned and the club might get a tax liability, but demotion seems unlikely. I’ve not read anything to say transfers have been conducted incorrectly, so keeping optimistic so far (plus the monetary amounts of £5m don’t seem significant enough to cause a tax liability concern – very different from the Rangers situation).

          • bobbi fleckman

            Swindle’s was a little less subtle. HMRC will have to go some to prove this (our’s and Wham’s case) and it will take years. Pretty much the whole of the premier league will be demoted if we are found in breach.

  • Bearsize

    Hahahahahahahahahahahagahagahah!
    Poor lee!! Hahahahahahahaha

    • Jezza

      It might not turn out to be any laughing matter for Newcastle fans.

      • shields mag

        It’s no laughing matter. The club will suffer for this and that means the fans.
        Points deduction, transfer embargo or even relegation. This is a disaster. It just shows that the barrow boy and his lapdog aren’t fit for purpose, but we already knew that.

    • Whickhamrobbie

      i think only Mackems will be laughing today .

      • Leazes Ender

        Wrong!

      • Biggs Darklighter

        Typical

    • Bearsize

      Yeah its not funny now i know a bit more. Oops! It will all come out in the wash

  • Berkshire Mag

    Maybe not a points reduction, more likely a transfer embargo, that would be the worst outcome possible as we wouldn’t be able to buy any players!

  • Chris Stanton

    The bastards who own/run our club are beyond the pail. This will probably mean no promotion for us and relegation for WHU. Even if that doesn’t happen a transfer embargo means relegation next season and the immediate departure of Rafael, who won’t want his good name associated with the crooks at the top. Happiness lasted 24 hours. We’re a disgrace.

    • Biggs Darklighter

      We are not a disgrace. The Ashley regime is the disgrace.

    • nevfur

      A transfer embargo in itself is a punishment prior to proof of guilt hence is absolutely not going to happen

  • Andy Mac

    Headline from Belfast Telegraph ” NUFC boss Lee Charnley held in tax probe” Ouch that’s gotta hurt ?

    • Jimblag23

      He’ll be holding a waxed chode in the clink.

  • Alex

    There’s no comment from NUFC because the only one who ever speaks is under arrest!

  • Wor Lass

    Look on the bright side of things – the Fat Controller could be designated “not fit and proper” to be owning a football club (yes, we know that already!) and be forced to sell up. Of course, Triple M is most likely right. IF we`ve broken the law then Penfold will no doubt be the patsy and fatty will be suitably shocked and let down by the whole sorry affair.

    • Andy Mac

      I’m pretty sure he’s not fit !

      • Jimblag23

        Nor do his trousers.

    • 1957

      If this is going to impact on MA in anyway, Charnley will be paid off in a way that encourages his continued silence.

  • ivan

    Perhaps any legal eagles could confirm, but I doubt any immediate
    sanction from the EFL/EPL/FA will result. To do so would be assume guilt and
    therefore prejudice any future legal proceedings – a criminal offence. I expect
    a case like this would take until at very least the start of next season to come
    to court, so any judgement would have to be retrospective. What that might be
    it anyone’s guess.

    The suggestion of a transfer embargo, as has been suggested, is more likely
    in the short term, especially as the breaking stories all connect the
    investigations to transfer activity. UEFA would be at liberty to impose a
    Europe wide embargo, as they operate from outside the English & Welsh legal
    system.

    It’s also worth noting that it might be routine that (for all Charnley’s
    Ashelyness), his bieing taken -possibly willingly- in for questioning might be
    routine. There are footabllers’ agents in two countries under investigation
    and, who knows, NUFC might have been acting in good faith. Tax evasion on
    transfer activity might not go directly through the club, as in say the case of
    wages.

    • Leazes Ender

      Correct

    • Geordie-7676

      NO action can be taken until such time as criminal liability has been proven in a court of law – even if the FA could take action they would be mad not to, as upon proof of innocence, you can guarantee that legal action would be taken against them by the club for damages.

      Regarding Penfold, he has been arrested. Being taken in for questioning and being arrested are two very different things.

    • 1957

      I heard speculation on the radio this is related to the payment of image rights in a way that avoids paying income tax on those payments. It used to common practice but I think HMRC recently closed that loophole.

      • bobbi fleckman

        That was my take when the report specifically said NI, it was NI that was being avoided with payments for image rights. Image rights are still legitimately used but it has to be proven that the consideration is fair, quite easy to prove when it;s David Beckham but not so easy when you are one of the backroom team. however, the club and individuals can point to the rather strange backroom team photo that was plastered over the press, these lads are stars too.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Big Mike will employ a top brief for Penfold, then take the fees out of his wages
    Business is Business

    • Albert Stubbins

      apparently he’s asked for O J Simpsons brief!!

      • Jimblag23

        Cochran would have to play the fat card for Ashley and Chumpface instead of the race one.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    I hear Diame, Anita, Gouffran & few of the lads are praying for a transfer embargo

    • Leicester Mag

      Maybe the investigation is why the heck we paid any money for them in the first place – maybe HMRC have seen them play and think its a scam

    • 1957

      Faced with missing out on playing in the PL again, I suspect Diame was the snitch

  • Andy Mac

    To “deploy” 180 people across the UK and France is no small matter so presumably the amounts involved are pretty significant ?

    • Leazes Ender

      A very costly exercise.

      • Andy Mac

        Just read on BBC site it’s alleged the sums involved are around £5m ?????? Surely the time and resources taken up by 180 people would cost more than the amount they’re after ?

        • Biggs Darklighter

          Keeping NUFC out of the top half of the premier is worth a lot more than that to someone. Or perhaps the investigation is being run by a mackem.

        • Leazes Ender

          Its probably a pretext to get deeper into this murky world of Ashley’s finances.

    • Geordie-7676

      Not necessarily…..the size and scale of the organisations demand personnel. The amount of Auditors (which is what they will be) involved will bear no reflection on the amount of money being disputed.

      • Leazes Ender

        Nonsense

        • Geordie-7676

          on what grounds?

          • Leazes Ender

            …..on the grounds that the £5 million tax fraud is the tip of the iceberg…..

          • Geordie-7676

            Lets not confuse an actual case with extended conspiracy theories!

          • Albert Stubbins

            thats what the doctor said to me when I telt him I thought I had a lettuce stuck up me Ar**!!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    I hope they waterboard the f@@ka

    • Biggs Darklighter

      Seems inevitable, if they don’t somebody is going to if this costs us.

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      Throwing away the key would do me.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        that`ll do Hughie

  • Sid James

    What a Carry On

    • Albert Stubbins

      get back to sunderland empire!!!

  • Andy Mac

    Two words spring to mind “Facundo Ferreyra” 🤔

    • Albert Stubbins

      wasnt he bought with chocolate buttons?

  • Biggs Darklighter

    Whatever happens here, if the club is damaged in any way by this Ashley has to go this time. “Whatever it takes”.

  • Leicester Mag

    If this impacts on promotion then Gallowate needs to revert back to its original use

  • hetonmag

    I can’t for the life of me believe Chumley has done anything wrong he has been in finance long enough to know right from wrong, and as far as WHU is concerned can’t imagine Baroness Brady doing any skullduggery. So for me that just leaves those squeaky clean agents.

    • Leazes Ender

      I can….. he’s been arrested.

      • hetonmag

        That’s normal procedure.

        • Leazes Ender

          …. for crims

          • hetonmag

            Wonder if Brady was arrested then ??

          • Leazes Ender

            No…. she’s probably on hols

          • hetonmag

            Or in the House of Lords maybe.

  • 1957

    I doubt the EFL, PL and even the FA are numb enough to take any action prior to the resolution of a court case or an admission of guilt. To deduct points, impose a transfer embargo or a relegation could lead to a court case of staggering levels, due to the riches of being on offer in the PL, if HMRC don’t prosecute and win. Unless the club has done something blatantly illegal, the forensic audit that will be carried out alone might take months.

    Charnley being arrested would have been normal practice if he was being questioned, to ensure he is aware of his rights and his statements are admissable in court.

  • Grahame Johnson

    A quick look on google and everyone’s a tax and law expert, I’m happy to leave it to the tax blood hounds and the expert lawyers they will employ like most working class and poor people we get a shovel at the end to pick up the @[email protected]

  • MadMag83

    It’s a shame there’s no photos of thumb head being arrested

  • GToon

    I like the West Ham statement but I’d have liked it a lot more if it had started with “corr bleedin blimey guv it weren’t not us not neva” or something like that…