With the Football Leaks ‘scandal’ rarely kicking up any kind of dust in the media, Portuguese tabloid Correio da Manhã reported over the weekend that Spain’s tax probe into “eventual irregularities” in the multi-million euro affairs of Portuguese football hero Cristiano Ronaldo is close to “running out of time”.
The date by which the investigation has to end is June 4, says the paper – stressing the probe began before Football Leaks “revealed that the Portuguese player allegedly moved €150 million to a tax haven with the objective of not paying taxes related to his image rights”.
As explained at the time, Ronaldo actually paid €5.6 million in taxes regarding image rights between 2009 – when he started playing for Spain’s Real Madrid – and 2014. But Spanish taxmen “think he should have paid a lot more”, says CM.
With Ronaldo under investigation for years 2011 – 2013, fellow players and countrymen Fábio Coentrão and Radmal Falcao are now in the soup, reports Público, accused of defrauding the authorities of €1.29 million and €5.66 million respectively.
Both players are alleged to have taken advantage of “the same Irish society” used by other players represented by Portuguese sports promoter Jorge Mendes and his company Multisports & Image Management.
It’s not the first time Coentrão’s name has been linked to this so-called scandal, but it has to be remembered that even if found guilty and given prison sentences in Spain, professional footballers rarely go to jail. In fact, there is not one case of one serving time for tax fraud, whatever the amount.
Público explains this has to do with the law that precludes incarceration for first time offenders as long as sentences are less than two years.