Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have told Sky Sports News that it is incumbent on all clubs to be “totally transparent” over transfers, amid reports of a fresh probe into football finances.
The Sun reports that half of the Premier League clubs are at the centre of a fresh tax probe concerning hundreds of millions of pounds which may have defrauded the public purse.
Newcastle and West Ham were raided by HMRC in April in regard to possible income tax and National Insurance fraud but it is understood tax inspectors are now looking into transfer records held by the Football Association that are linked to up to 10 more top-flight clubs.
An HMRC spokesperson told Sky Sports News: “We don’t talk about identifiable organisations. All clubs are required to be totally transparent with us about their transfers and there are consequences if they’re not.”
The FA has declined to comment on the claims. English football’s governing body holds all paperwork associated with transfers.
Business and financial records were seized at Newcastle earlier this year, as well as computers and mobile phones belonging to the club. In October, Newcastle lost a High Court appeal regarding the seizure of documents in those original raids.
Authorities also conducted a number of co-ordinated raids in France in April, involving 32 police officers and two magistrates.
According to The Sun, HMRC fears agents, clubs and players may have conspired to dodge millions in tax by hiding money from them during deals.
The inquiry, codenamed Operation Loom, is running alongside a separate investigation into players’ image rights deals.