LONDON/MADRID: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has become the latest big name in football – and client of ‘super-agent’ Jorge Mendes – to be accused of tax fraud by Spanish prosecutors.
Two weeks ago a similar storm broke around the head of Real Madrid’s World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo. This follows highly-publicised tax fraud cases in which Barcelona’s Leo Messi and Javier Mascherano were convicted.
Ronaldo, represented like Mourinho by Mendes’s Gestfute company, has been accused of defrauding tax authorities of €14.7m, by hiding his income from image rights. He is due to give evidence on July 31.
Mourinho is accused of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of €3.3m (£2.9m) between 2011 and 2012. Through his representatives he has denied the claim.
The 54-year-old is accused of two counts of tax fraud – €1.6m in 2011 and €1.7m in 2012.
A prosecutor has said he, also, did not declare income from the use of his image rights in order to get an “illicit benefit”.
The Spanish authorities have been cracking down on the ‘deflection’ of image rights to companies in offshore tax havens.
Messi, Barcelona’s Argentina captain, was handed a 21-month suspended jail term for his tax offences while his father Jorge, who manages his finances, was also convicted.
Mascherano – also Argentinian – admitted tax fraud, escaping a jail term with a one-year suspended sentence
Barcelona and Brazil 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. However this is concerns allegations that income was rerouted through a complex series of transfer fee contracts.
In another separate investigation the former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell is in detention on allegations of money-laundering income derived from friendly matches played by the Brazilian national team.