Mourinho denies tax fraud during Real Madrid stint

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José Mourinho in file photo from 24 May.
AFP

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Mr Mourinho was Real Madrid’s manager between 2010 and 2013

Manchester United manager José Mourinho has denied tax fraud in Spain, saying the government had ratified his tax affairs.

Mr Mourinho was accused by prosecutors of defrauding Spain of €3.3m (£2.9m; $3.6m) in taxes while he was Real Madrid coach from 2011 to 2012.

A prosecutor said Mr Mourinho, 54, did not declare income from image rights in order to get an “illicit benefit”.

A statement released on his behalf said he “has not received any notification”.

It added: “To this date, neither the Spanish tax authorities, nor the public prosecutor have contacted Jose Mourinho or his advisers who were hired for the inspection process.”

  • Why are Spanish football stars in legal trouble?

The statement also said Mr Mourinho “paid more than €26m in taxes, with an average tax rate of over 41%” during the three years until May 2013 and that he “entered into a settlement agreement” with the Spanish tax authorities after a change of rules in 2015.

Mr Mourinho has been accused of two counts of tax fraud – €1.6m in 2011 and €1.7m in 2012. The Madrid prosecutor said the case was presented to a local court.

Other prominent football figures have been accused of tax fraud in Spain in recent months.

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who played under Mr Mourinho and shares the same agent, is accused of defrauding tax authorities of €14.7m, by also hiding his income from image rights.

He denies the accusations and is threatening to leave Spain. The Portugal international is set to give evidence in his case on 31 July.

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Mr Mourinho’s advisers published this document from the Spanish tax authorities which they say “attested that he… was in compliance with all tax obligations”


Why Mourinho?

James Badcock, Madrid-based journalist

José Mourinho would join a growing list of football stars being investigated and prosecuted in Spain over accusations of tax evasion, in particular in connection with allegedly undeclared income from the sale of image rights by using companies based outside the country.

In this way, Lionel Messi has been found guilty of fraud, and Cristiano Ronaldo accused by prosecutors of evading €14.7m.

Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho are both clients of the football agent Jorge Mendes. Other Mendes charges being investigated for alleged tax evasion while playing in La Liga include Ricardo Carvalho, Ángel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao.

All are accused of using a similar system, whereby their image rights were owned by companies registered in the British Virgin Islands or Panama, and which allegedly received money from intermediaries based in Ireland.

A statement released by Mr Mendes’ company Gestifute last week, countering reports that he was being investigated alongside Radamel Falcao, said that the Portuguese agent did “not participate or offer any services related directly or indirectly with financial, tax or legal consulting for his clients”.


Other footballers have been accused of tax fraud in Spain:

  • Barcelona and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi was handed a 21-month suspended jail term. His father Jorge, who manages his finances, was also convicted
  • Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano – also an Argentine – admitted tax fraud, escaping a jail term with a one-year suspended sentence
  • Barcelona and Brazilian star Neymar is facing allegations of corruption and fraud over his transfer to the Spanish club in 2013 – a case which also involves his parents. Prosecutors allege the transfer cost much more than publicly declared, and that millions were concealed from authorities
  • Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, was arrested in May as part of a money-laundering investigation

Mourinho’s big trophies

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AFP

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Winning the Premier League in 2015

  • Uefa Cup with Porto in 2003
  • Champions League twice, with Porto in 2003 and Inter Milan 2010
  • Premier League three times with Chelsea in 2004-05, 2005-06, 2014-15
  • La Liga title with Real Madrid in 2011-2012
  • Europa League with Manchester United in 2017

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