Spanish prosecutors have accused José Mourinho of defrauding the country’s tax authorities of €3.3m, after finding that the Portuguese coach used a company in the British Virgin Islands to conceal earnings from the sale of his image rights.
Mr Mourinho is currently the manager of Manchester United but the accusations date back to his time as coach at Real Madrid. Public prosecutors believe that the 54-year old failed to declare earnings worth more than €7m during the years 2011 and 2012, on which he should have paid €3.3m in taxes.
According to a statement released on Tuesday, Mr Mourinho did so “with the aim of obtaining an illicit gain” and after setting up a deliberately “opaque” company structure to manage the earnings from his image rights.
The accusations come just a week after Spanish prosecutors brought a parallel case against Real Madrid star striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who allegedly withheld taxes worth €14.8m.
In both cases, tax authorities and prosecutors allege that Mr Mourinho and Mr Ronaldo ceded their image rights to companies on the Virgin Islands which in turn ceded them to a company based in Ireland. The Irish company allegedly used by the two men is identical: Multisports & Image Management Ltd.
Both Mr Ronaldo and Mr Mourinho are long-time clients of Jorge Mendes, a well-known Portuguese football agent. When the allegations of tax fraud first surfaced in the media last year, Mr Mendes’s agency issued a statement insisting that both men were “up to date with [their] tax obligations”.
One of the most celebrated coaches of recent times, Mr Mourinho won the Champions League trophy with both FC Porto and Inter Milan. He also secured league titles with Porto and Inter, as well as with Chelsea in England and Real Madrid in Spain.