Jessica Fino 6 Feb 2019 11:58am

Mourinho pays €2.2m to avoid jail for tax fraud

Former Manchester United manager José Mourinho has avoided being jailed for tax fraud by agreeing to pay €2.2m (£1.9m) in fines

The football manager was given a one-year suspended prison sentence by the Spanish authorities on Tuesday after he admitted evading taxes while managing Real Madrid between 2011 and 2012.

Prosecutors had accused him of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of €3.3m during his time at Real Madrid. They said Mourinho had set up offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands to manage his image rights and hide these earnings.

The suspended jail sentence was exchanged for a fine of €182,500, on top of a separate fine of €2m.

He had previously agreed to pay €3.3m to settle the tax fraud charges. At the time, he told reporters, “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 and I was told that in order to regularise my situation I had to pay X amount of money.

"I did not answer, I did not argue. I paid and signed with the state that I am in compliance and the case is closed."

Gestifute, the agency representing Mourinho, said at the time that he paid more than €26m in taxes, with an average tax rate of over 41%, while living in Spain between June 2010 and May 2013.

Last month, Cristiano Ronaldo also agreed to pay €18.8m to avoid jail for tax evasion. He was also given a 23-month suspended prison sentence, but will avoid spending time behind bars.

Under Spanish law, a judge can suspend a prison sentence of two years or less for first-time offenders.