Madrid, Spain: José Mourinho has been given a one-year suspended prison sentence and agreed to pay €2.2m (£1.9m) in fines after admitting tax fraud while he was the manager of Real Madrid.
The former Manchester United manager appeared at Madrid’s provincial court on Tuesday, where he confirmed a plea deal over charges that he had defrauded the Spanish tax authorities of €3.3m by failing to declare revenues from image rights in 2011 and 2012.
Prosecutors had accused Mourinho, 56, of using offshore companies in Ireland, the British Virgin Islands and New Zealand to conceal his earnings while resident in Spain. “All these corporate structures were used by the accused in order to hide the profits from his image rights,” read a court document.
Mourinho’s deal with the tax authorities will see him pay €1.9m – 60% of the amount defrauded – plus an additional €121,764 in interest. He is also paying a €182,500 fine in exchange for serving no jail time. Sentences of less than two years for first-time offenders are usually suspended in Spain.
Following a court appearance in Madrid during November 2017, Mourinho claimed that the case against him had concluded.
“I left Spain in 2013 with the information and the conviction that my tax situation was perfectly legal,” Mourinho said at the time.
“A couple of years later I was informed that an investigation had been opened. They told me that to regularise my situation I had to pay X amount. I didn’t answer, I didn’t argue, I paid, I signed the papers with the state that show my conformity and that everything is definitively closed.”
Mourinho is the latest high-profile person in the football world to find himself facing tax-evasion charges in Spain.
Last month Cristiano Ronaldo admitted committing tax fraud while playing for Real Madrid and agreed to pay an €18.8m fine after striking a deal with prosecutors and tax authorities in return for a 23-month suspended prison sentence.
The Portugal and Juventus footballer, Ronaldo, 33, had been accused of defrauding the authorities of €14.8m (£12.9m) in unpaid taxes between 2011 and 2014.
Madrid’s regional state prosecutor alleged Ronaldo had used what it deemed to be a shell company in the Virgin Islands to “create a screen in order to hide his total income from Spain’s tax office”.
It said Ronaldo “intentionally” did not declare income of €28.4m (£25m) related to image rights, and declared €11.5m of earnings from 2011-14 when his real income was almost €43m.
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Ronaldo’s former teammate at Real Madrid Xabi Alonso is accused of defrauding tax authorities of about €2m from 2010-12.
If found guilty he could be sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of €4m, in addition to the amount allegedly defrauded. Again, though, he would be unlikely to go to prison. The charges are related to Alonso’s income from image rights. The retired Spain midfielder, who has denied any wrongdoing, played for Madrid from 2009-14.
In July 2016 Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge, were sentenced to 21 months in prison after a Catalan court found they had evaded tax on the player’s image rights, with more than €4m owed in back payments.
The suspended sentences were later replaced with fines.