Newcastle players were left stunned on Wednesday morning as their Darsley Park training ground was swarmed by HMRC officers.
Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley has been arrested after a raid on St James’ Park by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs following an investigation into the club’s finances.
It is understood that West Ham have also been raided as part of the investigation and HMRC have made several arrests for suspected income tax and national insurance fraud. It has been confirmed that French authorities are assisting HMRC.
The news comes just two days after Newcastle sealed promotion to the Premier League.
Charnley, 39, is the club’s former secretary who has been promoted to the role of managing director under owner Mike Ashley.
A statement from HMRC said: ‘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.