Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was given a year-long prison sentence for tax evasion in Spain. Because Spain has a less stupid prison system than America and the UK, they automatically suspend all sentences that run for less than two years. A fine of £1.9 million, which will come to roughly $6 dollars after Brexit.
Mourinho talked about the court case in 2017, saying: “I left Spain in 2013 with the information and the conviction that my tax situation was perfectly legal.
“A couple of years later I was informed that an investigation had been opened. They told me that to regularise my situation I had to pay X amount. I didn’t answer, I didn’t argue, I paid, I signed the papers with the state that show my conformity and that everything is definitively closed.”
Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo was also on the receiving end of a similar punishment for tax evasion in Spain, and current United sensation Alexis Sanchez has found himself in similar situations. That means that the club could soon attract an official accountancy partner in order to make sure that the rest of their squad are just as accomplished and definitely legal when it comes to their tax affairs.
The recent cases, coupled with the recent Football Leaks disclosures, show that in top flight football it is not unusual to ferry monies around the world in different, offshore locations to obscure the sources and to avoid paying taxes on them. Of course, much of this is completely legal and will no doubt be protected for decades to come while public services are gutted, workers’ rights are eliminated and surveillance becomes ever more impressive. The bad news is that there is almost certainly nothing any of us can do this to improve it.
Hang on, I thought this was meant to be a soccer blog?