Portuguese players “in panic” over Football Leaks tax scandal

With no respite in ‘Football Leaks’ revelations, Portugal’s leading tabloid is today running with the story that national players are “in panic with the scheme” set up by sports promoter Jorge Mendes.

Mendes’ company Gestifute insists it has done nothing wrong, but the reverberations now are deafening.

Correio da Manhã claims Fábio Coentrão has found himself in the dangerous mix of personalities suspected of having dodged “tens of millions of euros” worth of tax on image-rights’ earnings, and Ricardo Carvalho too has been called in for questioning.

While international press media concentrates on other names – principally Portugal’s legendary striker Cristiano Ronaldo and the equally famous “Special One” manager José Mourinho (click here) – CM reveals that players represented by Mendes were warned by their lawyers that they were facing “a very serious problem” if they were caught using the alleged tax scam.

The paper quotes various Spanish sources to explain that Mendes has been under the eye of Spain’s tax authorities since 2014, and it reveals that “there are still principles in football” – alluding to the father of a 16-year-old Norwegian player refusing to let his son take up the scheme, on moral grounds.

But where this story is going is anyone’s guess.

For now, Gestifute has issued a new press statement, publishing Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest tax return confirming that his fiscal obligations, “as always” are up-to-date in all the countries in which he resides.

Mendes’ company “reiterates” that the attacks on Gestifute’s “interests and clients” are based on “manipulated, falsified information” which will see the company resorting to “the necessary judicial reaction”.

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