Spain prosecutors seek jail for Real Madrid coach Ancelotti over tax

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Madrid, March 7Spanish prosecutors on Wednesday called for Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti to be jailed for four years and nine months, saying he had failed to declare earnings to the tax office.

                  The Madrid state prosecutor’s office accused the 64-year-old Italian of having cost Spain’s treasury more than one million euros in undeclared earnings from image rights in 2014 and 2015.

                  “Although he himself declared himself to be a tax resident in Spain and indicated that his home was in Madrid, he only declared in his tax returns the personal remuneration received from Real Madrid,” the tax office said in a statement.

                  It accused Ancelotti of allegedly setting up a “confusing” and “complex” system of shell companies to hide his extra earnings from his image rights as well as from other sources such as real estate.

                  Prosecutors also alleged that the Real Madrid coach “simulated” the transfer of his image rights to entities “without any real activity” based outside of Spain to maintain “opacity vis-a-vis” the Spanish treasury.

                  He earned 1.24 million euros ($1.3 million) in 2014 from the sale of his image rights and 2.96 million euros in 2015, according to prosecutors.

                  A Spanish court in July ordered Ancelotti — regarded as one of the greatest coaches of all time — to stand trial over the affair, but no date has been set.

                  A judge leading the investigation said Ancelotti had “acknowledged” the actions that deprived the treasury of money, according to a 2023 court document seen by AFP last year, which could open the door to an agreement with prosecutors to settle the case without trial and avoid prison.

                  “What I can say is that this is an old story that I hope will be resolved soon,” Ancelotti told reporters on Wednesday after Real Madrid scraped through to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 1-1 second-leg draw against RB Leipzig, progressing 2-1 on aggregate.

                  “I don’t have any problems, I’m very calm,” he said.