Offices at the stadiums of Newcastle United and West Ham were searched and several men arrested.
Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley was among those detained in the raids by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs investigators.
In a co-ordinated operation British officials accompanied French officers in a raid on top club Marseille.
The French authorities are assisting the UK investigation
Spokesman for HMRC
Documents, mobile phones and computer equipment were seized in all three raids which involved 180 UK officials.
Private homes and properties linked to Newcastle’s ground, St James’ Park, and West Ham’s London Stadium were also searched.
It is understood the wide-ranging and complex investigation centres on multimillion pound player transfers.
Tax inspectors raided Newcastle United and West Ham stadiums
Marseille was raided in 2013 and it is believed more than a dozen transfer deals have been probed since then.
Among those is the 2012 transfer of French player Alou Diarra, then valued at about £4million, to West Ham.
Diarra spent a disastrous five months at the east London club and is now back at Marseille. West Ham bought Dimitri Payet for a reported £10.7million in 2015 and sold him back for £25million in January.
Newcastle bought Florian Thauvin for a reported £15million in 2015 and loaned him back to Marseille for two seasons.
He was due to be sold back this summer for £9.8million Remy Cabella moved from Marseille to Newcastle in 2014 for a reported £8million.
He was also loaned back to Marseille until the transfer was made permanent last August.
There is no suggestion any of the transferred players were involved or aware of any alleged wrongdoing.
Marseille was taken over by former LA Dodgers owner Frank McCourt in October 2016 from Russian-born businesswoman Margarita Louis-Dreyfus.
A spokesman for HMRC said: “HMRC has arrested several men working within the professional football industry for a suspected income tax and national insurance fraud.
Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley was arrested
“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.
West Ham bought Dimitri Payet for a reported £10.7million in 2015
“As this is an ongoing investigation, HMRC is unable to provide any further detail at this time.”
The arrest of Mr Charnley, 39, comes at the end of a season which saw Newcastle secure promotion to the Premier League.
He has been at the club for almost all his working life and a director since 2008.
Top five Newcastle players this season Fri, April 21, 2017
Who are the top five Newcastle players in the Premier League this season, according to WhoScored.com?
GETTY 1 of 6
Which Newcastle stars have performed best in the Premier League this season?
Newcastle’s Darsley Park training ground and West Ham’s facility at Rush Green were also raided.
Four arrests of “well-known agents” were also made in France today, according to French legal sources.
All are believed to have dealt with multimillion pounds deals involving English Premier League clubs.