Jose Mourinho has escaped a jail term after striking a deal with Spanish authorities over a multi-million pound tax fraud during his time as manager of Real Madrid.
The former Manchester United boss must now pay almost £1.9million to authorities after a court agreed to exchange a one-year prison sentence in return for a fine of €182,500 (£160,160).
Mourinho appeared before a judge in the Spanish capital to confirm the plea agreement he had reached with prosecutors. He was already facing a separate fine of €2m (£1.7 million) after admitting he defrauded Spanish authorities in 2011 and 2012.
The 56-year-old was initially accused of evading taxes to the tune of €3.3 million (£2.8 million). The money involved revenues from image rights, not salary paid by Real Madrid.
Spanish prosecutors said Mourinho had set up multiple business entities in the British Virgin Islands and elsewhere to manage his image rights.
They argued that was designed to obscure his financial gain from such deals – and he left it undeclared in his tax statements after he moved to Spain.
He is the latest high-profile football personality to strike a deal with Spanish authorities, which are pursuing a crackdown on tax evasion or fraud by the country’s many resident star players.
The 56-year-old’s plea deal comes two weeks after former Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo pleaded guilty to tax fraud from the time he played in Spain.
The Portugal forward received a two-year suspended sentence and was ordered to pay nearly €19 million (£16.7 million) to Spanish authorities.
Mourinho had appeared before a judge in 2017 and denied any wrongdoing, saying he had paid everything he owed to Spanish tax authorities from the time he coached Real Madrid.
He said he left the country in 2013 with the “information and the conviction” that he was up to date with his tax obligations.
Gestifute, the agency that represents both Ronaldo and Mourinho, released a statement at the time saying the coach paid “more than €26 million (then £23 million) in taxes, with an average tax rate over 41 per cent”.
Another former Real Madrid star, Xabi Alonso, is also facing charges over alleged tax fraud amounting to about €2 million, though he denies any wrongdoing.