West Ham have insisted a £1m loyalty payment paid to former midfielder Dimitri Payet was all above board following raids by HMRC earlier this week.
A report in the Mail on Sunday suggested the £1m bonus fee paid to the France international was one of the reasons behind the raids at the London Stadium and the club’s training ground on Wednesday.
West Ham have said the payment was paid into Payet’s UK bank account, along with his normal monthly wages, and was subject to 45 per cent income tax and National Insurance.
They also confirmed the payment was detailed in a contract submitted to the Premier League and Football Association and insisted no player at the club has any part of their salary paid as image rights.
A statement released on the club’s official website read:
“Dimitri Payet had a £1m annual loyalty payment, which was detailed in his contract submitted to the Premier League and The FA.
“Payment was made via his normal monthly pay and subject to 45 per cent income tax and National Insurance, which was deducted at source and was paid to his UK bank account along with his normal monthly wages.
“There is nothing to probe about this payment. In contrast to many Premier League clubs, not a single West Ham United player has any part of his salary paid as image rights.”
Payet joined West Ham from Marseille in June 2015 for £10.75m and went on to score 15 goals in 60 appearances, but returned to his former club in January in acrimonious circumstances.