Berlin (AFP) – Ex-Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness is poised to resume his former position after announcing on Monday that he will stand in November’s election, despite having served a prison sentence.
Hoeness was freed from jail in February after serving 21 months in prison for tax evasion, but is set to be re-elected as the president of the German champions with current incumbent, Karl Hopfner, having already declared that he will not stand for re-election.
“This has been agreed by Karl Hopfner and Uli Hoeness by consensus in pleasant talks,” said the club in a statement.
Hoeness is widely expected to be re-elected by Bayern’s members.
The moral question of whether a convicted criminal should resume as club president has not been discussed publically, but from a legal point of view, there is nothing preventing Hoeness’s return to office.
The 64-year-old was released from Landsberg prison, where Adolf Hitler wrote ‘Mein Kampf’, after being convicted in March 2014 of evading at least 28.5 million euros ($31.5 million) in taxes.
Having spent 40 years as either a player, manager or president of the Bavarian giants, Hoeness has shown humility and remorse since his release.
He has been a huge driving force in propelling Bayern to the top of German and European football.
Hoeness succeeded Franz Beckenbauer as club president in 2009 after a 30-year apprenticeship, but behind the scenes Hoeness was obsessively gambling millions on stocks and currencies via his Swiss bank accounts, which eventually landed him in jail.
“It’s not over yet,” was his battle cry at an extraordinary general meeting in May 2014, shortly before he resigned as Bayern president after being sentenced.
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