It was business as usual at West Ham on Thursday morning with no imminent threat of another raid from HM Revenue and Customs – and Andy Carroll still injured.
HMRC officials had swooped on the London Stadium and the club’s Rush Green training ground on Wednesday morning as part of an Anglo-French investigation into suspected tax fraud in football.
There were no arrests at West Ham, and no phones or computers were confiscated with insiders confident the club have done nothing wrong.
It is Marseille’s transfer dealings, with whom both West Ham and Newcastle have done business in recent years, which are understood to be under investigation.
Manager Slaven Bilic and his players were on a day off and not at either the training ground or the stadium, while joint-owners David Gold and David Sullivan, and vice-chairman Karren Brady, were also not present when the raids took place,
Bilic could therefore not comment on the incident, the latest in a seemingly endless catalogue of mini-dramas at the club this season, at his pre-match press conference.
But he did confirm one depressingly familiar story, that of injury-plagued striker Carroll being sidelined again, this time with a groin problem which will keep him out of Saturday’s trip to Stoke.
“Not for this game,” he said. “I did expect him to be back for this game, but he should be for the next game against Spurs.”
The Hammers are just a point behind Stoke, with both sides looking safe from relegation despite West Ham having won just one of their last 10 matches.
“It is a good gap of seven points (to the relegation zone) but we need points,” added Bilic.
“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.”