Moore Stephens Dublin office plays role in Mourinho and Ronaldo tax avoidance

José Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo’s tax affairs facilitated by Moore Stephens

 Real Madrid’s Portuguese coach José Mourinho  and  Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo: tax affairs under scrutiny.

Real Madrid’s Portuguese coach José Mourinho and Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo: tax affairs under scrutiny.

 

The Irish division of top international accountancy network Moore Stephens has emerged as a facilitator of the tax avoidance schemes used by José Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo, which are under the spotlight following a major leak of documents related to the tax and legal affairs of several football stars.

The Dublin-based managing partner of Moore Stephens in Ireland, Andy Quinn, is a director of several companies named in the leak of documents reported in several papers including the Sunday Times.

Mr Quinn, a chartered accountant, is a director of Multisports and Image Management (MIM), which is reportedly a major cog in the tax avoidance structures used by certain clients of football agent Jorge Mendes.

MIM uses the Dublin address of Moore Stephens, one of the top 10 firms in the country with more than 100 staff.

According to the weekend reports, payments for image rights for Mr Mourinho were paid to MIM between 2004 and 2013. The money, minus a commission for MIM, which would then be transferred to another company in the British Virgin Islands tax haven. There is no suggestion that the tax move involved anything improper, and Mr Mourinho has denied any wrongdoing.

Rights payments

MIM was also utilised by another Mendes client, Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. According to the weekend reports, the footballer reduced his tax bill on image rights payments of about €76 million over five years.

According to the reports, Ronaldo also sometimes utilised another Irish company, Polaris Sports, in his tax avoidance structure. Mr Quinn is also a director of Polaris, which is also registered to Moore Stephens Dublin office.

Last week, documents emerged in Spain that appeared to show a contract between Ronaldo and Saudi mobile company, Mobily, for a marketing and image rights agreement. The document also named Mr Quinn.

Ronaldo has also denied any wrongdoing, and his representatives has said his tax affairs are in order.

One of the directors of Polaris is listed as Luis Correia, who is a nephew of Mr Medes and a director of his Gestifute football agency.

Mr Quinn, Mr Correia and Dublin-based Liam Grainger also also listed as directors of Gestifute International, which is also registered to the Moore Stephens Dublin address.

Large dividend

This company appears to make profits of about €10 million each year, and pays out large dividends.

Mr Quinn had not responded to a request for comment prior to publication.

When the information concerning Ronaldo’s use of MIM in Ireland emerged last week, Sven Giegold, a Green Party member in Germany and an MEP, accused this country of “tax dumping”.

“It comes as no surprise that the company is located in Ireland, given the country’s low corporate tax rate,” he said.

The MEP called for a minimum corporation tax rate across Europe to prevent a “race to the bottom”. Tax, however, is a national competency within the European Union, and so is under the control of individual governments.