Perhaps not a surprise to those who know how these things work in Spain, Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez has been handed a 16-month prison sentence in Spain, after accepting two counts of tax fraud relating to his time in Spain with Barcelona. However, after coming to an agreement with prosecutors over accusations of defrauding the treasury of €1 million between 2012 and 2013, he will not need to serve the sentence.
Sanchez, who recently hit the headlines with his move from Arsenal to Manchester United, agreed via a video conference from London to accept two separate eight-month sentences, which he won’t have to serve unless he commits any further offences in the next two years. This is normal in Spain, where first-time offenders whose prison terms do not exceed two years do not need to actually serve time in jail.
The Sanchez case is the latest in a long list of high profile prosecutions brought by he Spanish authorities against football personalities, relating to their tax payments.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo among those embroiled in unwanted court appearances, some of which relate to arguments as to whether income from image rights should be declared in Spain.