HM Revenue and Customs have raided the offices of Newcastle United this morning as part of a tax investigation on football transfers – seeing managing director, Lee Charnley, arrested.
This comes as rather concerning news for the club, less than 48 hours after we celebrated Newcastle’s promotion back to the Premier League.
West Ham have also been asked to hand over documents relating to the case, with 200 officers from HMRC involved in the raids, seeing business records, financial records, computers and mobile phones seized by officers.
The investigation is also being assisted by French authorities who are said to be making similar raids and arrests at locations in France.
Newcastle’s managing director, Lee Charnley, is one of “several men working within professional football industry” who has been arrested today, with arrests relating to £5m of suspected income tax and national insurance fraud.
Here is the full statement released today by HMRC:
Investigations are said to be ongoing, with HMRC stating they are “unable to provide any further detail at this time”, whilst Newcastle United are yet to release a statement on the matter.
After securing promotion back to the Premier League just 2 days ago, this development is quite typical of Newcastle United. Just as things start to look up, we are hit with worry and uncertainty.
We can only hope nothing too sinister comes of this reported act of tax fraud, with points deductions and transfer bans being suggested as potential punishments for the club.