Newcastle United back in court on Thursday
Newcastle United start a two day High Court hearing later today.
As fans were still celebrating promotion after beating Preston 4-1 at St James Park, they then discovered that Newcastle United (and West Ham) had been raided by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as part of a probe into suspected income tax & national insurance fraud.
Lee Charnley was among a number of senior European football officials who were arrested and later released without charge.
Today’s judicial review hearing follows an earlier High Court decision in June, which gave Newcastle United permission to challenge the seizure order obtained by HMRC.
Mr Justice Supperstone ruled in June that it was ‘arguable’ the search warrant had been obtained unlawfully and so subsequently there must be a full court hearing for the issues to be argued.
The club argued at that June hearing that the warrants were excessively wide and that there were no grounds to believe Newcastle United were engaged in suspected tax fraud.
Lawyers on behalf of the club also argued that the legal procedures followed when the warrants were obtained at Leeds Crown Court were flawed, with no proper reasons being given.
Lord Justice Beatson and Mrs Justice Whipple will now hear the case in the High Court over these next two days in London.
When Newcastle United were raided, business records and financial records were taken away, as well as computers and mobile phones.
The HMRC investigation centres on football agents and payments made in transfer dealings between English & French clubs.
At the June hearing Mr Justice Supperstone also continued orders which prevented HMRC officers from examining the material seized in the raids, pending this week’s full hearing.
Mike Ashley this week won his £15m heavy drinking deal, so he will be hopeful of pulling off a double over the course of these next two days.
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