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Uli Hoeness set to return as Bayern Munich president

Uli Hoeness is expected to retake the reins at Bayern Munich on Friday. He resigned from his position as president of the German champions in March 2014 amid a tax evasion scandal, but is highly likely to be re-elected.

Bayern became the first Bundesliga side to win the Treble in 2013 with Hoeness as president. While his head-strong management style has often produced positive results, there are those that believe it could also taint the club's image.

Hoeness was released after serving half of the three-and-a-half-year jail sentence that forced him to resign despite a successful four-year presidency (2009-2014) in which Bayern won various titles including the club's fifth European Cup/Champions League.

Despite his criminal record, the club has paved a clear path for Hoeness to return as president, he will be the only candidate running for the position. Karl Hopfner, who replaced him in 2014, has refused to run again. A majority of the club's luminaries welcome the return of Hoeness with open arms.

"For Uli, there was never any other thought than coming back, FC Bayern is like breathing to him," said former Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, the man who secured that treble three years ago.

Uli Hoeneß

Uli Hoeneß along with Matthias Sammer and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge were responsible for the team's success.

Oliver Kahn, the ex-Germany and Bayern goalkeeper, said that he expects "a crystal-clear result" to the election while Matthias Sammer is looking forward to his return.

"It's awesome for FC Bayern and all its fans that Uli is coming back," Sammer, the former sports director of both the German Football Association (DFB) and Bayern, said. "He's no saint, not without his faults, but he's paid for his mistakes."

Politics and football

But to some outside of the Bavarian club, Hoeness has not quite paid his dues, as he remains on parole and a new term as Bayern Munich president sends the wrong signal. In an exclusive interview with DW, Andre Hahn, a member of parliament from the Left party and member of the Bundestag's Sport Committee criticized the club's decision.

Deutschland Andre Hahn im Bundestag

Andre Hahn, member of the German Bundestag has kept a stern position on the reappointment of Hoeneß as FC Bayern president.

"As president, Hoeness will represent thousands of members and I do not think Mr. Hoeness is the right man for such an important function, not after what he has done," said Hahn, who added that he "would have hoped for a different decision from FC Bayern."

Other politicians on the Sport Committee are not as outspoken on the matter. CDU member Frank Henkel told DW that a new presidency under Uli Hoeness is a matter only for the club and its members. "Uli Hoeness has served his sentence and officially there's nothing in his way. I am sure that he will perform the task responsibly this time around. He had more than enough time to think about his previous mistakes," said Henkel.

Hoeness, who in his playing days won three European Cups with Bayern and the World Cup and European Championship with West Germany, has been given credit for much of the club's recent success, but he will come back at a challenging time for the Bavarians, at least by their lofty standards. After a defeat against rivals Borussia Dortmund last weekend saw them fall to second and a loss against Russian side Rostov dashed their hopes of topping their Champions League group, the fans expect Hoeness to steer the Bavarians back onto the winning track.

 

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