LONDON and SANTA MONICA, Calif. – English football clubs were raided early on Wednesday morning (April 26) by tax officials as part of a wide-sweeping probe, with several men arrested for suspected Income Tax and National Insurance fraud.
British media were reporting that West Ham United and Newcastle United were targets of the investigation.
The London club did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment, while a Newcastle spokesperson said she expected to issue a statement “in due course”.
West Ham issued a statement to local media, saying the club was “cooperating fully with HMRC to assist their enquiries”.
The body responsible for United Kingdom’s tax collection said 180 HMRC officers were deployed across the UK and France, searching a number of premises in the North East and South East of England to conduct arrests and also seize business records, financial records, computers and mobile phones.
HMRC said French authorities were assisting the UK investigation, that they have made arrests and that several locations have been searched in France.