Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has agreed to a one-year prison sentence in Spain for tax fraud while he was at Real Madrid.
However, Mourinho will not serve time behind bars – it will be exchanged for a fine of £160,160. In Spain, sentences of less than 2 years for first-time or non-violent offenders are rarely enforced.
Mourinho was accused of owing Spanish tax authorities €3.3 million, after he had created various business entities in the British Virgin Islands – a tax haven – and elsewhere to manage his image rights. The accusations date back to 2011/12, when he was manager of Real Madrid. As a result, money made from the deals was undeclared in his tax statements.
The Portuguese had agreed a deal with tax officials before the case came to court. His fine today will be added to a separate, earlier €2 million fine.
Mourinho is the latest in a string of high-profile football players and managers to have fallen foul of the Spanish tax authorities in recent years. Last month, Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo was given a suspended 23-month sentence and £16.6 million fine for offences relating to tax owing over image rights from 2010-14, while he was also at Real Madrid.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi was also given a 21-month jail sentence for tax fraud in 2017. Again, it was changed to a fine by the authorities.
Other stars are also under investigation for their tax affairs, including Xabi Alonso, who denies any wrongdoing.