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Agrees £1.9m plea deal

Mourinho escapes jail for tax fraud in Spain

Jose Mourinho, tax fraud

Jose Mourinho struck a deal with Spanish authorities to avoid being jailed (pic: SNS Group)


 

Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has avoided jail for tax fraud in Spain by agreeing to pay a €2.2 million (£1.9m) fine.

The 56-year-old reached the settlement after being accused of owing €3.3m to Spanish authorities from his time managing Real Madrid in 2011-2012.

The charges were in relation to revenue from undeclared image rights, with prosecutors claiming he set up offshore accounts to conceal the earnings.

Mourinho, who appeared in person at a court in Madrid today, had been facing the possibility of a custodial sentence but traded a one-year prison term for the hefty fine.

First-time or non-violent offenders in Spain rarely spend any time behind bars when the period is for less than two years.

The Portuguese’s legal team had argued that he had more than paid his way in tax during the period 2010-13 while living in Spain.

They said he had paid in excess of €26m in tax at an average rate of more than 41 per cent.

After leaving Madrid in 2013 Mourinho took charge of Chelsea for a second time, spending two-and-a-half seasons at Stamford Bridge before replacing Louis van Gaal at Manchester United in May 2016.

Mourinho, sacked as Old Trafford boss in December, is the latest high-profile football celebrity to fall foul of the Spanish tax authorities.

Former Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo accepted an €18.8m (£16.5m) fine last month as well as a jail sentence, although like Mourinho will not serve any time as the sentence was under 24 months.

Two years ago Barcelona’s Lionel Messi agreed to pay €252,000 and accepted a 21-month sentence for tax fraud after he and his father were found guilty of defrauding the Spanish government of €4.1m between 2007 and 2009.



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