What's the story?
Amidst all the footballing action around Europe, off-field issues regarding tax issues have been making the rounds in the recent years. And the latest player who has accepted wrongdoing and confessed to fraud in court is Alexis Sanchez. The Arsenal talisman has confessed to tax fraud of close to €1 million with the money coming from his image rights. In a statement to the Catalan court from a video link in London, the Chilean has been proved guilty.
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This decision by the court makes him the fourth player from Barcelona to have tax evasion charges against them. Sanchez played for the Catalans during the time when the charges of tax evasion have been proved against him. Along with him, the trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Javier Mascherano have been previously named in similar charges in recent seasons.
The heart of the matter
Sanchez has acknowledged to two crimes against the Treasury between 2012 and 2013 with reports suggesting that the total value evaded by the Chilean was €983,443. The hearing went on only for a couple of minutes yesterday as the player instantly accepted his fault. It is reported that Sanchez has returned every penny that he owes which will see the Chilean getting a hefty fine rather than a prison sentence.
His defence team now has the job of reaching an agreement with the Treasury regarding the size of the fine and also on the length of a prison sentence. With Sanchez already having returned the money, he is not expected to go on trial which means the Arsenal forward would be receiving a short prison term and hence would be suspended according to the laws in Spain.
Like his former teammate, Lionel Messi, Sanchez will now get a hefty fine by the Spanish regulatory board in a couple of weeks for his wrongdoings in hiding the existence of a company named Numidia trading which is based in Malta. The player in focus transferred his funds from image rights to this company, of which he owns 99 percent of the shares.
Tax evading has become an unwelcoming trend in Spain with many superstars from Barcelona and Real Madrid being framed for these charges. With the issue being resolved, Sanchez will now look to spearhead Arsenal's title challenge and also to sort his future which hangs in the balance currently with the Chilean's representatives holding out for a better deal from the Gunners.Published 17 Jan 2017, 12:08 IST