Athletico Madrid owner jailed

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Atletico Madrid owner and Marbella town mayor Jesus Gil has been sentenced to six months in jail and barred from holding office for 28 years after being convicted of prevarication and influence peddling.

Atletico Madrid owner and Marbella town mayor Jesus Gil has been sentenced to six months in jail and barred from holding office for 28 years after being convicted of prevarication and influence peddling.

One of Spain's most outspoken and controversial sportsworld figures, Gil was convicted on four counts of prevarication but was absolved of fraud and embezzlement charges.

Gil, who has run Atletico since 1987, was arrested and jailed for seven days last year when first charged with embezzling about £2.3m from Marbella city hall and diverting it to the soccer club in 1991 when he was elected as mayor. He was released on bail.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of about £2,000.

Two of his colleagues at Marbella city hall were also found guilty and handed sentences that barred them for nine years from holding a public position.

The month-long trial concluded in July.

Prosecutors accused Gil of diverting the money under the guise of a sponsorship arrangement under which Atletico's team jerseys had the word Marbella written on their front. Gil repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and said that all the accusations were part of a political conspiracy against him.

Gil runs a political party - Independent Liberal Group, whose initials in Spanish are the same as his surname. He has successfully fielded several candidates in municipal elections in southern Spain.

The soccer boss also faces trial for another scandal of tax evasion and other irregularities involving Atletico.

Gil's lawyer Jose Maria del Nido said he would appeal.

Formerly one of Spain's top soccer clubs, Atletico de Madrid is currently playing in the second division for the first time since 1934 after a dismal season last year.

Comments