Agents Defend Ronaldo & Mourinho Over Tax Claims

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Madrid: The Portuguese agents company GestiFute has denied that clients including Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho are involved in any tax evasion after a media consortium reported that they had used tax havens to handle tens of millions of euros in earnings.

On Friday, a group of 12 European news outlets began publishing the results of months of investigations into a vast trove of more than 18 million financial documents, obtained by the German magazine Der Spiegel and given the name “the Football Leaks”.

“Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho are fully compliant with their tax obligations with the Spanish and British tax authorities,” GestiFute said in a statement. “Any insinuation or accusation made to Cristiano Ronaldo or José Mourinho over the commission of a tax offence will be reported to the legal authorities and prosecuted.” The use of offshore tax havens is not illegal.

The European Investigative Collaborations consortium, which includes the Sunday Times, intends to release details of its findings over the next three weeks. Spanish prosecutors have not responded to requests for comment; nor have Real Madrid, Ronaldo’s employers and Mourinho’s club from 2010-13. Manchester United said the allegations predated Mourinho’s arrival this summer and that it would have no comment.

One of the publications, the French investigative portal Mediapart, said the pair had benefited from a tax optimisation system developed by their agent, Jorge Mendes, who owns GestiFute. Mediapart said the system GestiFute employed for its various clients, using a network of offshore accounts and companies, represented a total potential loss to tax authorities of at least €185m.

In its statement, GestiFute said: “Neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor José Mourinho has ever been involved in legal proceedings regarding the commission of a tax offence.”

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