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West Ham focus back on game after tax raid


London (AFP) – West Ham United tried to turn their attention to football again on Thursday following the drama of the club’s midweek raid by British tax authorities.

Officials from Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) descended upon West Ham’s London Stadium and the Premier League club’s Rush Green training ground as well as part of an Anglo-French investigation into suspected tax fraud in football totalling millions of pounds.

However, there were no arrests at West Ham, and no phones or computers were confiscated.

Wednesday saw manager Slaven Bilic and his players enjoying a scheduled day off. They weren’t at the training ground or the stadium, while West Ham joint-owners David Gold and David Sullivan, and vice-chairman Karren Brady, were also not present when the raids took place.

Bilic did not comment on the incident on Thursday but instead found himself talking about the all-too familiar story of Andy Carroll being ruled out, with a groin problem sidelining the England striker from Saturday’s league match at Stoke.

“I did expect him to be back for this game, but he should be for the next game against Spurs,” Bilic said.

West Ham have won just one of their last 10 matches but appear safe from relegation, although Bilic was taking nothing for granted.

“It is a good gap of seven points (to the relegation zone) but we need points,” he said. “People are talking about who is safe but it is irrelevant. 

“We have four games left, a big game on Saturday and we are looking for points.

“There is a gap between us and mid-table, it is a small gap but with four games to go we are talking about 12 points and we have to concentrate on our next game.

“We are approaching them as four cup finals.”

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