Tuesday 11 December 2018

Man United change Chelsea pre-match schedule to accommodate Jose Mourinho's tax fraud hearing

Jose Mourinho has been under investigation on a tax matter in Spain
Jose Mourinho has been under investigation on a tax matter in Spain

Simon Peach

Jose Mourinho is scheduled to face accusations of tax fraud in Spain on Friday and his familiar routine has already changed ahead of Manchester United's trip to Chelsea.

The Spanish authorities opened a case against the 54-year-old in June for alleged tax evasion during his spell at Real Madrid boss.

It was alleged Mourinho owes the Spanish state nearly £2.9million in undeclared revenue related to image rights in 2011 and 2012 - a claim that has been strenuously denied by his representatives.

The United boss was later summoned to appear in a Madrid court on November 3, which falls two days before Mourinho takes his current side to his former club Chelsea in the Premier League.

United have yet to confirm whether Mourinho will attend the hearing, but the club announced their manager will hold his match preview press conference on Thursday ahead of Sunday's game.

That is a break from their standard practice of hosting it on a Friday before a weekend fixture.

Press Association Sport understands players have been made aware of an altered training schedule, although few expect focus to waver when it comes to facing Chelsea before the international break.

The allegations against Mourinho are part of a wider crackdown by the Spain authorities against tax fraud, with several leading figures in football having been investigated.

Commenting on the allegations against the United boss in June, his representatives, Gestifute Media, said: "Jose Mourinho, who lived in Spain from June 2010 until May 2013, paid more than 26 million euros in taxes, with an average tax rate over 41 per cent, and accepted the regularisation proposals made by the Spanish tax authorities in 2015 regarding the years of 2011 and 2012 and entered into a settlement agreement regarding 2013.

"The Spanish government in turn, through the tax department, issued a certificate in which it attested that he had regularised his position and was in compliance with all his tax obligations."

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