Chelsea visited by HMRC officers with regards to 'wider investigation' into fraud in football

Samuel Lovett
Chelsea visited by HMRC officers with regards to 'wider investigation' into fraud in football

Officers from HMRC have visited Chelsea Football Club amid its wider investigation into fraud in English football.

Both Newcastle United and West Ham United’s grounds were raided on Wednesday morning while Lee Charnley, Newcastle’s managing director, was arrested as part of an investigation that has seen 180 officers deployed across the UK and France.

Chelsea’s premises were not subject to a search warrant and no arrests were made but HMRC have visited offices belonging to the club “in connection with its wider investigation”.

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“In connection with its wider investigation HMRC has requested certain information which the club will provide,” a Chelsea spokesman confirmed.

The Independent understands that the suspected income tax and National Insurance fraud amounts to £5m.

HMRC say they have arrested "several men working within professional football industry for suspected income tax and national insurance fraud."

The statement read: "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.

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"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."

West Ham said it was "co-operating fully with HMRC to assist their inquiries" while Newcastle confirmed that a statement will be released in “due course”.

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