Portuguese football hero Cristiano Ronaldo has refused a deal tendered by Spanish fiscal authorities over the €14.7 million he is accused of evading in image rights taxation.
According to Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, CR7’s reasoning is that he has done nothing wrong.
The problem, says the paper, is that this now means the case will go to trial – in which case, if found guilty, Ronaldo could face jail time.
Fellow footballers Lionel Messi and Neymar have been in similar positions with Spanish authorities in the past, but both avoided jail after agreeing financial settlements.
Ronaldo however looks unlikely to play ball. Or if he does, he is simply waiting for the right moment.
Explains Correio da Manhã today, he has sent a letter to the court considering his case, affirming that the accusation is based on the “arbitrary use of regulations contrary to Tax Law”.
Says the paper: “The player spares his agent Jorge Mendes from any responsibility (Mendes still has to testify in court) and says that the tax authority is basing its accusation on the difference between declared earnings and that which the tax inspection considers as his having earned in Spain”.
Ronaldo is believed to have further written that the accusation could be “easily dismantled” by an “independent observer”.
Whether this is seen as a red rag to a Spanish bull remains to be seen.
CM suggests that with Ronaldo’s refusal he may have put in jeopardy his “chances of not being condemned to a jail term”, although the paper adds that the settlement deal will remain open “until the day immediately before the start of the definitive judgement”.