In the research called “Football Leaks”, carried out by the German magazine Der Spiegel, it is stated that Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo would have diverted up to 150 million euros from his image revenues between 2009 and 2020, to the paradise haven of the British Virgin Islands.
The network of investigative journalism has revealed some of Cristiano Ronaldo’s millionaire contracts with major brands: Toyota came to pay according to an advertising contract signed in July 2013 almost two million euros to the star. Honda paid two million euros to the player for a one-year contract Cristiano Ronaldo manages his image business through a fiscal framework located in the Virgin Islands. The money passes previously through Ireland and ends in Switzerland. The soccer player, in addition to the millions paid by Real Madrid as a footballer, has collected advertising revenues from 20 brands over the last eight years.
In addition to the companies already mentioned, other of its sponsors are Samsung, Tag Heuer, Armani, Bimbo, Unilever or Herbalife among others. Mobily, one of the most popular mobile operators in Saudi Arabia, decided to pay 1.1 million euros to the player. Emirates paid for a campaign with the player 1.1 million euros. Up to 6.5 million euros invoiced Ronaldo in 2014 for the contract with Nike. The sum of all these advertising contracts signed between 2009 and 2020 is about 150 million euros. The millionaire salary that Cristiano Ronaldo charges to play in Real Madrid is a difficult figure to camouflage when trying to tax a lower percentage. For this reason he pays taxes at the highest rate set at 46%.
If the advertising revenue is collected through a company, the corporation tax is applied. But if the company is in the Virgin Islands, the percentage is zero. Now is the time for the courts to continue the investigation and determine the legality of these operations. It is not all the fault of Cristiano Ronaldo. All the above marks have contracted a player who has his residence fixed in Spain, but they have paid him outside the territory of this country. It is very important that multinationals are also aware of the responsibility they have.
Author and journalist Clemente Ferrer has led a distinguished career in Spain in the fields of advertising and public relations. He is currently President of the European Institute of Marketing.