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04th Dec 2016

Jose Mourinho should face tax investigation after Sunday Times claims, says MP

Mourinho's agent denies any wrongdoing

Rob Burnett

Jose Mourinho should face an investigation into claims he used an off-shore company to reduce his tax bill, an MP has said.

The Sunday Times claims the Manchester United boss used a company in the British Virgin Islands as a mechanism to cut down on the amount of tax he had to pay during his time as Chelsea manager between 2004 and 2007, and when he was at Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013.

A spokesperson for Mourinho said there could be “no suggestion whatsoever” that he had committed a criminal offence, and called the claims “unfounded”.

But MP Meg Hillier, who is chairwoman of the public accounts committee says the claims needed “close examination”.

She told the BBC: “I think it is really important that the tax authorities take a really close look at what’s gone on and we will be raising this with them on Wednesday.”

The claims which were published in today’s Sunday Times, are based on leaked documents from the website Football Leaks, and centre on allegations that Mourinho and a number of other high profile football figures including Cristiano Ronaldo, used off-shore companies to process earnings from their image rights.

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 13: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF enters the pitch prior to start the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Athletic Club at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 13, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)


Jorge Mendes, the agent for both Mourinho and Ronaldo has denied the claims and insisted his clients have been fully compliant with UK and Spanish tax law.

A statement from Mendes’ company Gestifute said:

“One newspaper makes the unfounded allegation that Gestifute, its clients and its advisers [have], directly or indirectly, created, organised or designed tax structures to facilitate tax evasion using tax havens. The most serious and malicious allegations in the inquiries relate to Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho are fully compliant with their tax obligations with the Spanish and British tax authorities.

“Neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Jose Mourinho have ever been involved in legal proceedings regarding the commission of a tax offence.

“Any insinuation or accusation made to Cristiano Ronaldo or Jose Mourinho over the commission of a tax offence will be reported to the legal authorities and prosecuted.”

Manchester United declined to comment on the basis that the allegations relate to events before Mourinho was an employee of the club.

Real Madrid also declined to comment.

An HMRC spokesman said: “HMRC carefully scrutinises the arrangements between football clubs and their employees in respect of any image right payments to make sure the right tax is paid. In recent years we have identified more than £80m in additional tax payable from clubs, players and agents.

“We take seriously allegations that customers or their agents may have acted dishonestly in the course of an inquiry, and can reopen closed cases if we suspect this has happened.”