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.