Jose Mourinho Accepts 1-Year Jail Sentence and Is Fined €2M
Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has accepted a one-year jail in his tax fraud case with the Spanish state, and has been ordered to pay a €2m (£1.75m) fine.
The 56-year-old, who reached an agreement with tax authorities after being accused of owing nearly €3.3m in undeclared image rights revenue while he was Real Madrid manager in 2011 and 2012, will not serve any time in prison as his sanction is suspended due to the sentence being under two years.
A Spanish court filing showed that Mourinho had agreed the deal and that he will not serve jail time in exchange for a hefty fine, having been accused of failing to declare the image rights in his Spanish tax declarations "with the aim of obtaining illicit profits".
Mourinho's representatives, Gestifute Media, argued during the investigation that Mourinho paid more than €26m in tax at an average rate of more than 41 per cent while he lived in Spain between 2010 and 2013.
Spanish authorities have cracked down on tax evasion within football in recent years, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both among those to have agreed substantial fines and jail sentences over undeclared image rights.
Ronaldo accepted an €18.8m (£16.5m) fine last month as well as a jail sentence, but due to it being his first offence under Spanish law and the prison term being under two years, he avoided serving any time in jail.
In July 2017, Barcelona star Messi agreed to pay €252,000 and accepted a 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud after he and his father, Jorge, were found guilty of defrauding the Spanish government of €4.1m between 2007 and 2009. Jorge Messi also avoided jail time after agreeing a 15-month sentence and a €180,000 fine, having been found to have used tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to avoid declaring image rights.
Messi and his father also made voluntary €5m "corrective payments", which was equal to the alleged unpaid tax plus interest, in August 2013, on top of a €2m fine for Messi and €1.5m fine for his father.
The announcement continues a bad week for Mourinho after he was involved in an embarrassing incident on Monday while appearing at an ice hockey match in Russia. Having accepted an invitation as guest starter for Avangard Omsk's Kontinental Hockey League match against SKA St Petersburg, Mourinho completed the ceremonial task of dropping the puck before slipping on a red carpet and crashing to the ice in front of fans and media.