Rafael Benitez: Newcastle United 'business as usual' despite HMRC investigations

Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez won promotion from the Championship with Newcastle at the first time of asking

Manager Rafael Benitez says it is "business as usual" on the football side at Newcastle United, despite Wednesday's off-field investigations by Revenue & Customs.

HMRC's tax fraud investigation emerged just two days after Newcastle confirmed promotion back to the Premier League.

Managing director Lee Charnley was arrested, but released without charge as part of the raids.

"We are trying to concentrate on football," Benitez told BBC Newcastle.

"It's a pity that all the issues about the investigation, about something that happened four or five years ago, but we can concentrate on our usual football business.

"The first day after the day off we were trying to concentrate on football and that's what we have done. We were training, normal things, set-pieces and tactical adjustments.

"I was even talking to Lee today about pre-season which will start on 3 July. We have no control of the other things. We are trying to do what we have to do."

Meanwhile, former Newcastle winger Sylvain Marveaux was one of four people arrested in a tax fraud investigation by HMRC.

Too soon to talk about the future

Mike Ashley
Rafael Benitez says he has had early conversations with owner Mike Ashley regarding his future

Speculation surrounding Benitez's future at Newcastle has been an ongoing concern to the supporters.

Benitez confirmed he would remain at Newcastle in the bid to win promotion earlier this season, after a frustrating January transfer window.

Now the impetus for Benitez and Newcastle is to come to an agreement surrounding an extended deal for the Premier League campaign ahead.

"At the moment I am trying to concentrate as much as I can. I have been in contact with Mike he called me to congratulate the team and the staff," the Spaniard, 57, said.

"We have been talking about a conversation, a meeting in a few days or weeks, what is going on, what happens in the future and the money that will be available.

"I'm quite positive about that conversation with him, but it is too soon right now. We're thinking about [Friday's opponents] Cardiff."

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