Pep Guardiola availed himself of Mariano Rajoy’s tax amnesty to regularize half a million euros that he had in an account in Andorra and in which he deposited his emoluments as a player in Qatar between 2003 and 2005. This is information published by El País and La Sexta within the framework of the Pandora Papers, a journalistic investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that will reveal as of this Sunday the financial secrets of high international leaders, businessmen, artists or athletes, and in which it participates elDiarioAR, sister newspaper of elDiario.es in Argentina.
Guardiola: I always paid my taxes, not many games can say that
The former FC Barcelona coach had that account in the Private Banking entity of Andorra (BPA) until 2012, according to that information. On that date, he accepted the tax amnesty to regularize those funds for which he paid 10% of the interest that they had generated. The coach was in charge of the Blaugrana bench between 2008 and 2012, went on to coach Bayern Munich between 2013 and 2016 and since then has commanded the Manchester City players.
Guardiola’s name appears in a document from the German office, Cordero, Galindo y Lee (Alcogal), one of the law firms that are under the magnifying glass of the journalistic investigation of the Pandora Papers. He appears as a proxy for the Panamanian company Repox Investments that served as a screen to hide the owner of the Andorran account. The company was established in February 2007, after Guardiola had left football as a professional and shortly before he joined FC Barcelona as a coach.
Guardiola’s legal advisor, Lluís Orobitg, explained to The country that he opened the account in Andorra due to the impossibility of obtaining the residence certificate in Qatar, where he would not pay taxes, and that he did not do so in Spain for fear that without the certificate, the Tax Agency would put problems to benefit from the tax regime of expatriate.
The Panamanian company ‘Repox’ was created in 2007, according to this information, with the intervention of the manager Afsi, which had dozens of Spanish citizens among its clients. A manager specialized in creating companies in jurisdictions offshore like the Virgin Islands, Belize or the Bahamas. Alcogal sent the documents of creation of the company to Afsi.
“I have paid all my taxes”
Six years ago, the then Bayern Munich coach stood alongside the Catalan independence movement and closed the Junts pel Sí electoral list together with Artur Mas for the Catalan elections of 27-S. That summer, a few months before the Catalan elections, the then minister Jorge Fernández Díaz charged the former FC Barcelona coach for combining his pro-independence activism with his past presence in the Spanish soccer team. “It was surely not out of patriotic interest, but out of economic interest, because there are people whose god they have is that of money,” said the then minister and today prosecuted for the Kitchen operation.
Guardiola’s response, then with his account in Andorra open for three years, was overwhelming. “It is not like that, I did not go for an economic question. I have paid my taxes from day one, something that many parties cannot say,” he said in an interview published by the Guanyarem platform.