Newcastle United fans have mocked the club for publishing a very short statement regarding the HMRC’s widespread investigation into suspected £5m tax fraud in football.
The UK tax authority released a statement on Wednesday confirming that “several men” working within football were arrested and that 180 HMRC officers were investigating various properties across the country and in France.
The Guardian reported that Newcastle’s offices, including those at the club’s Darsley Park training ground were raided.
The home of managing director Lee Charnley was also searched, and the man himself was arrested and later released without charge.
The club were silent throughout the day when the events were unfolding, but at 6.18pm they released a very short statement, failing to provide much information.
“Newcastle United can confirm that a member of its staff has this morning been assisting HMRC with their inquiries. The club will be making no further comment at this time.”
As expected, fans were not particularly impressed with the Magpies’ update.
@NUFC Did they arrest the bloke who writes the statements as well?
— . (@__RG27) April 26, 2017
— Lewis Courtney (@LewisCourtney11) April 26, 2017
@NUFC ALL day. To produce THAT ????????????
— Dani (@Danielle92_) April 26, 2017
@NUFC I think that's the most pointless statement ever
— JackBryan8 (@Jackbryan27) April 26, 2017
— Tommy Longworth (@Tommy_Longworth) April 26, 2017
@NUFC Could have said this hours ago, howay man there's thousands of worried fans waiting for a statement and this is what we get?
— Ryan (@RyMorris95) April 26, 2017
@NUFC Why has this "statement" taken 9 hours? ????????
— Beth ✨ (@bethabson) April 26, 2017
@NUFC Hell of a statement, lads
— NE28 (@_NE28) April 26, 2017
@NUFC Nice well detailed statement that mind haha
— Phill Donkin (@ElDonko1983) April 26, 2017
The HMRC confirmed that business records, financial records, mobile phones and computers have been seized in their widespread raid.
West Ham United’s London Stadium was also searched, while documentation was requested during a visit to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.
There has been no confirmation yet as to what clubs or individuals are at the centre of this investigation.