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Tax Blues

Chelsea the latest Premier League club contacted by HMRC after West Ham and Newcastle raided in tax fraud probe

Blues asked to provide information after Toon chief Lee Charnley arrested

CHELSEA have become the latest Premier League club contacted by HMRC after West Ham and Newcastle were raided as part of a major HMRC tax fraud investigation.

The Blues were asked for information after  West Ham and recently-promoted Newcastle were hit in 4am busts, with Toon chief Lee Charnley arrested.

Chelsea are the latest club to have their offices raided by the HMRC

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Chelsea are the latest club to have their offices raided by the HMRC

According to reports, HMRC officers have been at Chelsea all morning with a request for information in connection to the probe – but have NOT raided Stamford Bridge.


Keep up to date with ALL the Chelsea news, gossip, transfers and goals on our club page plus fixtures, results and live match commentary.


A spokesman for Chelsea said: “In connection with its wider investigation, HMRC has requested certain information which the club will provide.”

St James’ Park and the London Stadium were two locations targeted earlier on Wednesday, with officers up at 4am to begin the operation.

Newcastle and West Ham raided by officers ‘over transfer dealings with several arrested

Chelsea were subject to raids on Wednesday along with West Ham and Newcastle

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Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck with the Premier League's Richard Scudamore

Newcastle director Lee Charnley has been arrested over alleged financial irregularities at the club

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Newcastle director Lee Charnley has been arrested over alleged financial irregularities at the club

Newcastle chief Lee Charnley has reportedly been arrested alongside senior figures in France

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Newcastle chief Lee Charnley has reportedly been arrested alongside senior figures in France

HMRC confirmed almost 200 officials were deployed across both England and France as the operation crossed the Channel.

A statement read: “HMRC has arrested several men working within the professional football industry for a suspected Income Tax and National Insurance fraud.

“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.

HMRC officers carried out raids across Newcastle, London and France

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HMRC officers carried out raids across Newcastle, London and France

St James' Park was raided on Tuesday night as part of a police operation

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St James' Park was raided by HMRC officers as part of a tax investigation

Chelsea join West Ham and Newcastle in being raided on Wednesday

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Chelsea join West Ham and Newcastle in being raided on Wednesday

West Ham's London Stadium is also said to have been raided by police

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West Ham's London Stadium is also said to have been raided by police

“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.”

Lee Charnley is managing director at Newcastle and works under owner Mike Ashley

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Lee Charnley is managing director at Newcastle and works under owner Mike Ashley

The clubs could now face points deductions if found guilty.

Earlier, a statement from West Ham read: “The club is cooperating fully with HMRC to assist their enquiries. No further comment will be made at this time.”

Newcastle are yet to comment on the incident.

HMRC confirmed that no police were involved in the operation, but confirmed in a parliamentary hearing in January that 43 players, 12 teams and eight agents were being investigated.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez steered Newcastle the the Premier League this season

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Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez steered the club back to the Premier League this season

Meanwhile, sources in France claim: "The belief is that organised criminal gangs based in Corsica and mainland France were working with senior officials at the club, agents and other parties.

"Marseille has done a lot of high profile business with both West Ham and Newcastle in recent years, and accordingly both British clubs are being brought into this enquiry."

Senior Marseille directors have been charged as part of the investigation, with over 110 companies looked into.

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