Sports

Ronaldo’s lawyers deny €150m tax evasion claims

The company has threatened to sue a consortium of newspapers that claims the likes of the Real Madrid star, Jose Mourinho and Mesut Ozil dodged tax obligations.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho are “fully compliant with their tax obligations”, their agent Jorge Mendes’ company has insisted, amid allegations of tax evasion against the pair.

A consortium of 12 European newspapers has said it will publish the findings of what is described as “the largest leak in the history of sport” under the banner ‘Football Leaks’ over the next three weeks.

As part of that leak, several media outlets have alleged that Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo and Manchester United manager Mourinho avoided taxes using tax havens through structures set up by Mendes’ company, Gestifute.

According to the report, the Portugal international has allegedly evaded €150 million in taxes since 2009, prior to his arrival at Madrid.

He is accused of using companies based in the British Virgin Islands tax haven to avoid tax obligations related to image rights, with Road Town-registered Tollin Associates looking after €74.8m in revenue over the first six years.

In 2015, it is claimed, Ronaldo’s image rights were purchased by two further Caribbean enterprises until 2020, to administer a sum worth another €75m.

Reports assert that the operations were carried out through Mint Capital, a company linked with businessman and current Valencia president Peter Lim, and directed to a Swiss bank account in the player’s name.

In total, Ronaldo allegedly paid just 4 per cent of his income to the Spanish treasury, while an investigation into his financial affairs opened in December 2015.

As well as the Madrid star, Mourinho and Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil are named in the leaks as using similar measures to evade tax obligations.

However, in a statement, Gestifute described the accusations as “unfounded”.

The statement read: “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 offense.

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

It added: “We always act with the highest level of professionalism in our relationships with our clients and the authorities in all those countries in which we operate.

“We will not hesitate to take legal action to defend ourselves and our clients over any untrue and unlawful allegations published about us.”

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