Several men from the football industry have been arrested over a suspected income tax and national insurance fraud in an operation involving tax authorities in the UK and France.
HM Customs and Revenue declined to comment on reports that Newcastle United and West Ham United were involved in the probe but said premises in the north east and south east of England had been raided as well as locations in France.
In a statement, the service said: “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.
“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.”