By 90Min
February 08, 2018

The agent of Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez, Fernando Felicevich, believes his client has been 'unfairly' treated after the 29-year-old was handed a 16-month suspended prison sentence for tax fraud.

Sanchez has dominated headlines in recent days for all the wrong reasons as he became the latest player to have evaded the tax man after he admitted to withholding payments totalling £874,810 in 2012 and 2013 when he was a Barcelona player.

Sanchez pleaded guilty to concealing a portion of his pay packet from image rights he received whilst at Camp Nou, and despite successfully avoiding jail time, Sanchez's agent damned the Spanish authorities over the sentence in a statement released on Twitter. 

The statement implied that Spain's Treasury is applying pressure on players to force them to sign unfair deals in order to ensure their problems dissipate. 

Felicevich wrote: "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.

Mark Thompson/GettyImages

"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.

"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," he added.

The agreement reached ensures Sanchez avoids jail time as he agreed to pay back all the money he owes, plus interest. 

Sanchez has now joined the likes of Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o, Adriano, Javier Mascherano and most recently Cristiano Ronaldo to have been under investigation from the Spanish authorities.

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