LONDON. — Ex-Manchester United boss José Mourinho has agreed a prison term in Spain for tax fraud, but will not go to jail.
A one-year prison sentence will instead be exchanged for a fine of €182 500. That will be added to a separate fine of €2m.
Spain rarely enforces sentences of less than two years for non-violent or first-time offenders.
He was accused of owing €3.3m to Spanish tax authorities from his time managing Real Madrid in 2011-2012.
Prosecutors said he had created offshore companies to manage his image rights and hide the earnings from tax officials.
Image rights cover the use of a person’s likeness, voice, signature and mannerisms — and can be very lucrative for footballers and managers.
Mourinho’s move to Manchester United in 2016 was even delayed after it emerged his previous team Chelsea owned the trademark to his name.
Spanish prosecutors said that Mr Mourinho, a Portuguese national, had set up multiple business entities in the British Virgin Islands and elsewhere to manage his image rights.
They argued that was designed to obscure his financial gain from such deals — and he left it undeclared in his tax statements after he moved to Spain.
He is the latest high-profile football personality to strike a deal with Spanish authorities, which are pursuing a crackdown on tax evasion or fraud by the country’s many resident star players.
In January, Cristiano Ronaldo accepted a fine of €18.8m and a suspended 23-month jail sentence, in a case which was also centred around tax owed on image rights.
Source : The Herald