Thu 30 Nov 2023, 10:59 · Ash Harrison

Report: Newcastle owners slapped with £6m tax bill for bad practices under the Mike Ashley regime

Report: Newcastle owners slapped with £6m tax bill for bad practices under the Mike Ashley regime
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We recently spotted that Newcastle and HMRC were set to do battle in court but at the time could only speculate on what the issue was.

At the time we assumed that it would be something to do with the raid HMRC carried out at St James' Park in 2017 which saw Lee Charnley arrested and later released without charge. All of this, of course, took place before the PIF-backed takeover of the club.

It turns out that was indeed part of the issue as Newcastle's current owners were fighting the legality of the search while also requesting that documents seized be returned according to The Telegraph.

Realistically, Newcastle were never going to win this one

There was also the case of the current owners trying to claim that they should not be held accountable for the poor practices enacted by the previous regime.

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley
Ian Macnicol via AFP/Getty Images
The Axis of Evil still causing issues

It has now come to light that Newcastle's attempts to quash this whole thing have failed and the club are now on the hook for over £6.25million for things that were done under Mike Ashley's tenure.

Newcastle used creative accounting and tax avoidance to pay agents according to the report.

Mike Ashley still gets the last laugh

"HMRC told Leeds Crown Court the club had “systematically abused” the tax system to “secretly” make payments to agents and players during transfers, while Newcastle argued there were no reasonable grounds for believing they had engaged in tax fraud."

The dark shadow of Mike Ashley just won't shift. Just as we think we're completely free of him - the Castore deal coming to an end next year will be the last domino to fall from his era - he comes back to haunt us.

One thing that hasn't been covered is whether this bill will impact FFP given that the money was allegedly used as part of transfer business.