Newcastle United and West Ham United’s grounds have been raided in a fraud investigation, resulting in several arrests.
HMRC said it deployed 180 officers across the UK and France, and several men working within professional football had been held.
It searched premises in the north east and south east of England.
The BBC understands the suspected income tax and National Insurance fraud amounts to £5m.
Football’s tense history with HMRC
Business records, financial records, computers and mobile phones were also been seized in the raids.
West Ham United said in a statement the club was “cooperating fully with HMRC to assist their inquiries.”
BBC Sports editor Dan Roan has tweeted that West Ham United was one of the clubs involved.
Newcastle United’s St. James’ Park ground has also been searched.
In a statement, HMRC said it had arrested “several men working within the professional football industry for a suspected income tax and national insurance fraud”.
“180 HMRC officers have been deployed across the UK and France today,” the statement added.
“Investigators have searched a number of premises in the north east and south east of England and arrested the men and also seized business records, financial records, computers and mobile phones.
“The French authorities are assisting the UK investigation, have made arrests and several locations have been searched in France.
“This criminal investigation sends a clear message that, whoever you are, if you commit tax fraud you can expect to face the consequences.
“As this is an ongoing investigation, HMRC is unable to provide any further detail at this time.”
Newcastle were promoted to the Premier League on Monday, just 348 days after relegation.
HMRC raided West Ham’s offices at the London Olympic Stadium where the club moved in August, having played at Upton Park since 1904.