It seems as if Newcastle United cannot have anything (literally anything) nice. Just days after securing promotion, Newcastle find themselves headlining the majority of British newspapers, and not for a good reason.
This morning a raid in St James’ Park, West Ham's London Stadium , and parts of France involving over 180 police officers saw the arrests of team officials from West Ham United, Newcastle, and selected individuals in France.
BREAKING: Newcastle's St James' Park and West Ham's London Stadium have been raided as part of a police investigation #SSNHQ— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) April 26, 2017
Among those arrested was Newcastle Managing Director, Lee Charnley.
BREAKING: Sky sources understand one of the men arrested by police at St James' Park is Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley #SSNHQ— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) April 26, 2017
These raids are a part of an investigation by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, that as I previously mentioned involved over 180 officers, and some French authorities.
A statement from the HMRC said: “HMRC has today arrested several men working within the professional football industry for a suspected Income Tax and National Insurance fraud.”
It goes on to say “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 and further detail at this time.”
It was initially reported that these raids were due to transfer investigations. As more information has surfaced, we are finding out that these raids are due to investigations into tax fraud as well as transfer irregularities.
The questions on many fans’ minds are “Will the clubs be punished?” and “How will they punished?” We will have more for you as information begins to surface. For now, you can look at this video below, that gives a brief synopsis of what we know so far.