Birmingham City co-owner David Gold has welcomed the decision by Revenue and Customs not to prosecute Karren Brady and David Sullivan over alleged corruption in football after a two-year police investigation.
The club chairman said he was confident the pair had “never done anything wrong” and that the “correct decision had been made”.
Lawyers told managing director Ms Brady and co-owner Mr Sullivan yesterday that no further action will be taken against them as part of the probe into suspected tax irregularities.
They were arrested by City of London Police officers as part of a wider investigation into corruption in football.
Mr Gold defended the two throughout the investigation and claimed Ms Brady was the victim of a “witch hunt against football”.
He said: “I am delighted to hear the news about David and Karren, it’s something I have been expecting for a long time.
“It didn’t occur to me for one second that they were part of any wrongdoing having known their character from working with them for over 20 years.
“They are two of the most upstanding people I have ever worked with and I don’t want anyone to ever believe that they have been let off anything.
“They have never done anything wrong and this is the correct decision.
“Everyone at Birmingham City is delighted with the news and I have been inundated with messages from the wider family of football who are relieved with this decision.”
A spokesman for Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) said the decision was made after a review of the police and financial inquiry.
He said the joint investigation focused on allegations that payments were made to individuals which were not declared to the tax authorities.
The spokesman said: “It has been decided in accordance with the code for Crown prosecutors that, in relation to two employees of Birmingham City Football Club, criminal proceedings will not be instituted against them.
“A review of the evidence against individuals associated with another football club is being conducted, and a decision as to whether criminal proceedings will be instituted against them is yet to be made.”
Ms Brady, 40, and Mr Sullivan, 60, vehemently denied any wrongdoing since their arrest.
The pair were first questioned in August 2007 and reinterviewed in April 2008 on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting.
Detectives raided the club as part of the ongoing inquiry into football corruption by the economic crime unit.
Shares in the club were suspended on the London Stock Exchange in April 2008. They were later reinstated.
Birmingham City officials have always insisted they were simply assisting officers and the investigations had no direct association with the club.
Ms Brady became the youngest managing director of a UK plc when Birmingham City floated on the stock market in 1997.
Mr Sullivan, the multi-millionaire former proprietor of the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport newspapers, co-owns Birmingham City with brothers David and Ralph Gold.
Seven other football figures, including Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie, Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric, the Leicester City chairman, have also been questioned as part of the wider inquiry by City of London Police. All deny any wrongdoing.