West Ham endured a dramatic day yesterday, as their premises were raided as part of a HMRC investigation.
The Hammers, along with Newcastle United, were raided by HMRC officers and plenty of speculation soon followed as to the reason of the action taken.
Now, The Sun reports that Demba Ba’s transfer from West Ham to Newcastle in 2011 triggered the raid amidst a £5m probe into fraud in football.
Ba signed for Newcastle six-years ago and impressed over two-seasons with the club, before returning to London and joining Chelsea- where he struggled to earn consistent opportunities.
“They then started looking at other player transfers, ownership, payments to players and agents and crucially image rights.”
“Image rights had been widely used to avoid paying national insurance and income tax on player salaries. The money was paid into offshore accounts.”
“Newcastle and West Ham were repeatedly asked to cooperate but officers felt they were far from helpful. There is a large focus on the movements of players between France and England from 2011 onwards. French authorities are assisting.”
Both clubs have completed numerous transfers in recent history with French side Marseille, another speculated reason behind the raid, but West Ham stating yesterday they were co-operating fully with the investigation.