Mourinho ‘Accepts One-Year Prison Sentence’

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has accepted a one-year prison sentence as part of a deal to settle a Spanish tax evasion case, El Mundo newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Mourinho is unlikely to serve the jail term as Spanish law states that a sentence of under two years for a first offence can be served on probation.

Spanish prosecutors filed a claim against the Portuguese football coach last year on two counts of tax fraud dating back to when he coached Real Madrid.

Mourinho left Real Madrid in 2013 to manage English club Chelsea for a second spell before signing with United in 2016.

Spanish tax authorities allege the Manchester United manager owed 3.3 million euros ($3.8m).

Mourinho had failed to declare revenues from his image rights in his Spanish income tax declarations from 2011 and 2012, "with the aim of obtaining illicit profits", prosecutors said.

They said Mourinho had already settled a previous claim relating to his Spanish taxes after a 2014 inquiry, which resulted in a penalty of 1.15 million euros ($1.33m).

But tax authorities later found that some of the information presented in that settlement was incorrect, the prosecutors said.

The settlement comes amid a lengthening list of tax fraud cases involving football stars in Spain.

In June, former Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo reached a similar deal to pay a 3.2 million euro ($3.7m) fine after settling a tax evasion case with Spanish authorities.

Ronaldo, 33, was also sentenced to 24 months in prison as part of the deal

The Portuguese forward, formerly of Real Madrid, was accused last year of defrauding authorities of 14.7m euros ($16.5m) in unpaid taxes between 2011 and 2014 via shell companies based in the British Virgin Islands and Ireland, known for their low corporate tax rates. 

In 2016, Barcelona favourite Lionel Messi was found guilty of evading nearly $5m in taxes.

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