Following jail term, Hoeness returns as Bayern president
ULI HOENESS returns this week to the helm of Bayern Munich to resume where he left off in 2014 when a tax evasion investigation led to a threeand-a-half year prison sentence.
His election as club president and supervisory board chairman should be a formality on Friday at the club’s annual meeting where members are expected overwhelmingly to back the man who more than any other has helped shape Bayern Munich into a global player.
At 64, Hoeness had no intention of retiring following his jail term, and the plain-talking, often controversial former international player returns full of elan and on a tide of goodwill.
“For Uli there was never any thought than that of returning. FC Bayern is for him the air that he breathes. It’s his baby, his life,” former Bayern coach and friend Jupp Heynckes was quoted as saying in Kicker magazine.
Hoeness was released from prison on February 29 after serving nearly half of a three-and-half-year sentence. He had been convicted by a Munich court in March 2014 of evading taxes estimated at €28.5million (RM133m).
Ahead of his release from prison, Hoeness had already been on a day release programme that had enabled him to work at Bayern as an assistant with the junior team set-up.
“I stand by the fact that I made a mistake. For this I have atoned and repaid the (tax) damage,” he said.
Will Bayern and German football experience the old Hoeness, who was vehemently partisan in pushing Bayern’s fortunes, often making enemies as the club’s power grew?
“Clear words will continue to be my trademark, that won’t change, I certainly won’t be beating about the bush,” he was quoted as saying in Kicker.
There will also be no change in his charitable endeavours and support for those in need, be it an individual or a club in financial straits, which have also been his calling card. – dpa