Despite an on-going tax evasion investigation, under-fire Uli Hoeness is set to remain as president of the supervisory board of treble-seeking Bayern Munich until at least the end of the season.
The Bavarian club's supervisory board voted unanimously in favour of Hoeness staying on, declining to bow to increasing public pressure for the Bayern supremo to resign.
Members of the board include high-profile figures from club sponsors Adidas, Volkswagen, Audi and Deutsche Telekom. If a scandal of this magnitude emerged at such public companies, it would perhaps be considered a given that this was a resignation issue.
However, the Bayern board chose to back the 61-year-old in his hour of need, revealing that Hoeness had offered to temporarily stand down pending the outcome of the investigation. "After intense discussion, the supervisory board of FC Bayern Munich AG decided unanimously that Uli Hoeness should continue in his position of President," the club said in a statement. "Uli Hoeness has expressed his regret at being involved in this matter and has apologised," continued the club statement, revealing that the decision to turn down his offer to resign was made "in the interests of FC Bayern, who need to focus entirely on achieving further sporting goals with the Champions League final on May 25th and the German Cup final on June 1st."
Hoeness, a World Cup winner with Germany in 1974, made a voluntary declaration to the tax authorities in January, admitting to filing amended tax returns and revealing a Swiss bank account, where he has allegedly 'parked' millions of euros. Public prosecutors in Munich are now looking into a possible case of tax avoidance.
"I've been really stupid and made a massive mistake that I'm trying to correct as best as I possibly can," Hoeness admitted regretfully in the German weekly Die Zeit. "Naturally, I'm beating myself up over this. I blundered badly but I'm not an evil person," the former German international added.
Hoeness was temporarily detained in March but secured bail for the princely sum of EUR5m. If the tax evasion case goes to court, Hoeness could face not only a multi-million euro fine but also a custodial sentence.