Alexis Sanchez’s agent, Felice Felicevich, has blasted the Manchester United star’s tax fraud punishment as “unfair” and hit out at the Spanish authorities for violating player’s rights.
The Chilean forward has been handed a 16-month suspended prison term after being sentenced for tax fraud.
Last month Sanchez admitted defrauding Spanish tax authorities of £900,000 from image rights during his time at Barcelona.
He has now been fined £525,000 and will also re-pay the money to the authorities; as it is his first offence in Spain however, he won’t serve any jail time if he does not commit a crime in the next two years.
In a lengthy statement, Felice Felicevich declared: “Today the Spanish Tax Agency has once again leaked details of an agreement between our representative Alexis Sanchez and Spanish prosecutors.
“Spanish prosecutors and its Treasury Department have placed more than 30 professional footballers in the same situation, accusing them of the same crimes and threatening them with prison sentences.
“Almost every member of the Real Madrid and Barcelona squad have been placed in this situation, even though these clubs use a standard pay formula for their first team which has been accepted by the Spanish Treasury in the past.
“Throughout all these cases, whilst violating the rights of those under investigation, the repeated, continuous and obscene leaks have been an element of pressure on the players to force them to accept agreements like the one today, which once again has been leaked to the media.
“On some occasions, there has been no other way out but to surrender to the pressure, and to avoid worst injustices, accept unfair agreements like this one.
“Many players and managers have had to do the same thing, and many others will continue to do so.”
“Prosecutors have decided on their own criteria which players to accuse, almost all of them foreigners, and exercised threats and public pressure through the media to force the players and managers to accept these totally unjust agreements.
“In these circumstances, and despite having shown that Alexis has not committed any crime, we have been obliged on the recommendation of our advisors, to accept this unjust agreement and therefore alleviate the emotional, personal and economic erosion caused by having to endure lengthy trials.”
“Seeing the nightmare companions like Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo etc have been through, we have reached the conclusion that it is better to accept an unfair settlement so we can move on and not continue to be subjected to media and political pressures.”