Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the case brought against him for tax fraud is now “definitively closed” after he told a Spanish court he would pay the necessary amount to settle charges levelled against him earlier this year.
The 54-year-old had been accused of illegally accumulating a sum of €3.3m relating to image rights payments during his time as Real Madrid manager.
His scheduled court date means that Manchester United’s final training session ahead of Sunday’s trip to Chelsea will take place on Friday afternoon, while Mourinho’s press conference took place a day earlier instead.
And the Portuguese, who will now fly back to Manchester, has declared that the case was closed after accepting arguments put forward by Spain’s Inland Revenue and paid the demanded sum.
“I left Spain in 2013 with the information and the conviction that my tax situation was perfectly legal,” he said.
“A couple of years later I was informed that an investigation had been opened. They told me that to regularise my situation I had to pay X amount.
“I didn’t answer, I didn’t argue, I paid, I signed the papers with the state that show my conformity and that everything is definitively closed. That’s why I was here for five minutes to tell the judge exactly what I am telling you now.”
A court spokesman claimed soon after Mourinho’s appearance in court that, despite the manager’s comments, he remained under investigation in Spain, noting that the Man United boss had answered questions only from his lawyer and not from any public prosecutors.
The bottom line, however, is that the 54-year-old’s life will more or less continue like normal because, well, can you really imagine a man of Mourinho’s rank and power being punished in any meaningful way? Lionel Messi, after all, should be technically doing time.
And this is important for United fans, who will know how the mood of their boss can so easily permeate the entire first team squad.