Tax fraud, perjury, court cases and uppity multi-millionaires. It’s just another day for Real Mad.

By Tony Attwood

They have been banned from signing players because of child trafficking.   Their star player is under investigation for tax fraud, and so has said he’s never going to play in Spain again (as in “I didn’t know I had to abide by their laws, just because I played in their wretched country”), and clubs are all shuffling around thinking, “£135m, well why not?” on the basis that surely no Spanish court would actually dare to throw him in prison.

And yet Spanish prosecutors are seriously considering what charges Cristiano Ronaldo should face following the reports that Spain’s taxation agency feel that the dear little chap has defrauded the authorities of €15 million between 2011 and 2014.

The prosecutors have now said that they have until the end of June to decide whether to charge him or not based on evidence from an investigation by tax officials.  And it strikes me: can you imagine the outcry if these decide not to?  I mean, if you were a taxpayer in Spain, how would you feel if one of the rich guys in your country was let off a €15 million fraud charge just because he was rather famous?

The alleged irregularities by and large relate to money that Ronaldo had in the British Virgin Islands one of the most notorious tax havens in the world.  So notorious, that tax evasion via the country is quite openly talked about.  It is their major industry.

In my own field of writing and publishing, any author who is likely to be earning quite a bit of money from future books (because his past efforts have gone down well) is likely to be offered the chance to sell all his future rights to a company in the British Virgin Islands.  Then as the royalties come in on future books, that goes straight into an account in the Islands, and no tax is payable.   He draws a modest amount each year from the fund back to the UK, and pays tax on that – the bulk of the money remaining tax free.

But then from time to time he might saunter over to his bank while having a local holiday, draw out a load of money in cash, and give it to a close associate to invest in property elsewhere.   He’s now bought a mansion tax free.  Fancy a yacht?   Same again: cash deal, tax free.

Tax officials in Spain have said Ronaldo has already adjusted his tax declarations and paid an extra €6 million in 2014 but that is still a long way short.  Now with Lionel Messi becoming a convicted fraudster, Ronaldo is the next in line.

But he most likely won’t go to prison as this type of tax fraud normally gets prison sentences of between 15 months and two years.  However, time is not served by first-time offenders sent down for two years or less.  On the other hand, some people in Spain are getting a bit fed up with these footballing gangsters walking away with just a fine.

But this is not the only criminal nicety facing a Real Mad player, because it appears Croatian prosecutors have launched an investigation into suspected perjury against Luka Modric on  suspicion of him giving false testimony in a criminal trial about his financial deals with a former director of Dinamo Zagreb who himself was charged with embezzlement and tax fraud.

Now that one is more serious because if charged and found guilty, he could face up to five years in prison and half of that would have to be served.

Modric has testified at the trial of a tax official and three former senior officials of Dinamo Zagreb, including their former CEO Zdravko Mamic.  This is rather interesting because Mamic is thought to be a man of considerable political influence as well as a leading manipulator of Croatian football.

Although Modric was not named in the citation (as is the norm in such cases in Croatia) the state attorney’s office had to refer to the defendant and their description fits Modric and no one else. Indeed even state controlled radio and television stations identified Modric as the man in question.

Modric has already testified as a witness at the trial of Dinamo officials on tax avoidance charges and the suggestion that they diverted 116 million Kuna (£13.7m) away from the club.

In evidence against Modric the state said, “The witness falsely said that on 10 July, 2004, the date when he signed his first professional contract, he also signed an annex on the basis of which he had acquired a right to a 50:50 share in transfer fees,” and that this annex to his contract had continued throughout his career.

That is interesting because Modric moved to Tottenham from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008 before joining Real Mad in 2012.

The former coach of Dinamo, Zoran Mamic, and the club’s former executive and current senior official of the Croatian Football Federation, Damir Vrbanovic, all deny the charges.

We await developments on all fronts.

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6 Replies to “Tax fraud, perjury, court cases and uppity multi-millionaires. It’s just another day for Real Mad.”

  1. Tony, Ronaldo faces 4 counts which when you combine the sentences if found guilty on all counts could result in a custodial sentence of up to 7 years. As you pointed out, only sentences of 2 years or less avoids jail time. He might be in for 4 years with good behaviour- unlikely!

    If you believe the papers, or like me you take them with a big pinch of salt, you’ll have read that CR7 wants out of Spain unless Real pay the fines and back taxes on the alleged offences.

  2. Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo who have been found out by the Spanish tax authorities to have evaded the tax they ought to have paid to them as they have been indicted to have defaulted in paying, should emulate the gentlemanly behavior of Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal who paid the Spanish tax authorities the tax he had defaulted in paying including the court case charges when he was found out and indicted to have defaulted in paying without causing any rancour, ranted, threatened or bragged about the place.

    I don’t think the Spanish tax authorities are concerned if Ronaldo leaves at stays at Real Madrid as a result of been indicted by them to pay them the cumulative tax he has defaulted in paying to them. All they are interested in and concerned off is to get their tax money from him. He’s staying or leaving Real Madrid is Real Madrid’s corcern.

    If Ronaldo had been a honest and a gentleman professional top footballer who he should be going by his remarkable success and fame at the very top of the game and pay his tax correctly as it falls due, he would have been spared this big embarrassment he has suffered. My advice to him is to approach the Spanish tax authorities to settle the case out of court by agreeing to pay them correctly what he owed them plus whatever be the court charges. And continues plying his trade at Real Madrid if he chooses to do that. Or leaves for Man Utd his purported destination if they can afford what Real Madrid will demand for his transfer fee.

  3. Cristiano Ronaldo: “God sent me to earth to show people how to play football.” Lionel Messi: “I never sent anybody !”

  4. Jose Mourinho : ” I zink ,…”
    The whole world : ” Shut the fuck up , we don’t care what you think !”

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