Ashley's NUFC Lose Legal Battle
When Newcastle was raided by the HMRC back in April, it put a slight dampener on our promotion back to the premier league with thoughts of fines or docked points causing concern amongst the fans.
The HMRC then said it was done to investigate the possibility of income tax and national insurance fraud. A clutch of other raids happened at other clubs as well to tie in with ours.
Whilst it was denied that there was any wrong doing on our behalf, there was thoughts amongst the fanbase that we had more money than was being made out as we just weren't competing to the best of our ability, so the suspicion was that Mike Ashley or his employees had been finally caught out.
After a period of time, Newcastle made a legal challenge over the legality of the investigation and it went to court today in London.
The result saw the club lose that legal battle although it's important to mention that it doesn't mean there is any guilt anywhere, it's just in the way the probe was done that was challenged.
Sky Sports said a bit on it with the Royal Court of Justice being quoted as saying:
There were some errors in the information provided by HMRC in the application but for the reasons given none of those errors was material.
We are satisfied that the evidence and facts disclosed by that evidence provide reasonable grounds for the belief that NUFC was engaged in criminality.
It is self-evident that 'reasonable grounds' for belief are just that. They do not mean that any criminal offence has in fact been committed
There may, at the end of the investigation, turn out to be innocent explanations for what happened.
The HMRC although stating that they don't report on individual cases say they are pleased with the verdict and it's expected that they'll now have a good rummage through the seized documents.
This story may yet see a twist that could determine the future of Ashley's involvement with us. We'll see.