Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

What Does It All Mean to Us.? the Chronicle THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017 Newcastle United Raid

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

What Does It All Mean to Us.? the Chronicle THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017 Newcastle United Raid

Article excerpt

AFTER Newcastle United became caught up in a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax fraud probe, we look at the rules surrounding points deductions in the English Football League.

HMRC officials were seen at the club's training ground in Benton and at St James' Park on yesterday.

Toon fans have been left worrying that the news of raids at Newcastle United could cost them the move to the Premier League, which was seemingly cemented on Monday when the Magpies beat Preston North End 4-1. Newcastle currently sit in second place in the table, behind Brighton.

The English Football League said it couldn't say anything about yesterday's raids and the situation remains unclear. A spokesperson said: "It would not be appropriate for us to comment at the moment as the investigation is ongoing."

Although the investigation is at an early stage, a precedent has previously been set when clubs have been found guilty of financial irregularities with a points deduction being the outcome, although there is so far no suggestion the club is at fault here.

What do the rules say? According to the English Football League's rules and regulations regarding sporting sanctions, clubs could face point deductions in the case of an "insolvency event". The rules state: "If any club becomes subject to or suffers an insolvency event, that club shall be deducted 12 points.

"If a group undertaking of a club becomes subject to or suffers an insolvency event, then the board shall have the power to impose upon the club a deduction of 12 points scored or to be scored in the league competition."

When would the points be deducted? The points would be deducted when the club becomes subject to any insolvency action. If this is before the fourth Thursday in March, the deduction is applied immediately. If it is after that date, the club will start the next season on minus 12 points.

So could Newcastle be kept in the Championship? As the team is not facing any insolvency action, it is unlikely to see any points deduction at this stage. Of course, that may change as HMRC's investigation develops.

The English Football League's rules do not explicitly say what happens to a club facing insolvency if they were expected to be promoted out of the league, and a spokesperson refused to comment on the issue. …

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