Football: Jose Mourinho agrees to settle €3.3 million Spanish tax fraud case for undisclosed amount

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho left the court in Pozuelo, Madrid insisting that the only problem he had with the brief appearance was that he had been forced to reschedule training.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho left the court in Pozuelo, Madrid insisting that the only problem he had with the brief appearance was that he had been forced to reschedule training. PHOTO: AFP

(GUARDIAN) - Jose Mourinho declared the case brought against him for alleged tax fraud to be closed after he accepted the arguments put forward by Spain's Inland Revenue and paid the fee demanded to settle charges brought against him, which he has always denied.

The Manchester United manager left the court in Pozuelo, Madrid insisting that the only problem he had with the brief appearance was that he had been forced to reschedule training.

"I didn't reply, I didn't argue, I paid, I signed the papers," he told reporters, describing the case as "definitively closed".

Mourinho had been accused of tax fraud amounting to €3.3 million (S$5.2 million) relating to image rights payments that he received when he was manager of Real Madrid in 2011 and 2012.

The Spanish state prosecutor had accused him of using offshore companies in Ireland, the British Virgin Islands and New Zealand to conceal his earnings.

Similar cases have been brought against footballers in Spain or who used to play in the country, among them a number of clients of super-agent Jorge Mendes, including Fabio Coentrao, Pepe, Falcao, Angel di Maria and, most notably, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Yet while Ronaldo is determined to fight the charges of a €14.7 million fraud, Mourinho opted to pay.

He did not reveal the amount.

In June, Portuguese sports agency Gestifute had issued a statement insisting that Mourinho had accepted the "regularisation proposals made by the Spanish tax authorities", relating to 2011 and 2012 and that he had reached an agreement with them relating to 2013.

But the case had not been closed and Mourinho was called before an investigating judge on Friday (Nov 3), arriving at the same courtroom where Ronaldo had appeared in the summer.

He departed again soon after, insisting that the matter was now over.

"I left Spain in 2013 with the information and the conviction that my tax situation was perfectly legal," Mourinho said.

"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 shows my conformity and that everything is definitively closed. That's why I was here for five minutes to tell the judge exactly what I am telling you now."