Berlin (AFP) – After serving 21 months in prison for tax evasion former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness could be soon back in his old job, German football magazine Kicker reported on Thursday.
Kicker said Hoeness may be offered the honorary job of president on Friday after a supervisory board meeting, with the real power remaining in the hands of managing director Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
“Uli needs Bayern as much as he needs air to breathe,” an anonymous close friend of Hoeness told Kicker.
The moral question of whether a convicted criminal should resume as club president has not been discussed publically.
From a legal point of view, there is nothing preventing Hoeness’s return to office.
The 63-year-old businessman and economist Karl Hopfner has been in the post as Bayern Munich president since March 2014 when Hoeness was jailed, but has always maintained he would step aside once his predecessor was out of jail.
Hoeness was released from Landsberg prison, where Adolf Hitler wrote ‘Mein Kampf’, in late February after being convicted in March 2014 of evading paying at least 28.5 million euros ($31.5 million) in taxes from his sausage and meats company.
Having spent 40 years as either a player, team manager or president of the Bavarian giants, Hoeness has shown humility and remorse since his release.
When Franz Beckenbauer stood down as Bayern president in 2009, Hoeness succeeded him after a 30-year apprenticeship.
But behind the scenes, he was obsessively gambling millions on stocks and currencies via his Swiss bank accounts, which eventually led to jail.
After six months in jail, he started work in Bayern’s youth academy under a parole system which meant he returned to jail every evening.
He worked for 14 months, without missing a weekday, including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, as the alternative was sitting in his cell.
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