Bayern board backs Hoeness despite tax-evasion allegations | News | DW | 06.05.2013
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Bayern board backs Hoeness despite tax-evasion allegations

The president of Bundesliga soccer champions Bayern Munich is set to remain in his post despite allegations of tax evasion. The announcement followed a meeting of the club’s supervisory board.

Bayern Munich's supervisory board said in a statement released on Monday evening that it had voted unanimously that Uli Hoeness should remain in his posts as chairman of the board and club president.

The statement said the allegations of tax evasion against Hoeness had been one of several issues discussed during the regularly scheduled meeting in Munich. It said that Hoeness had offered to step back from his duties as supervisory board chairman while the authorities deal with his tax-evasion case. It also said Hoeness had expressed regret about the case and apologized to the board's members.

"In the interest of FC Bayern, which needs to completely concentrate on reaching its further sporting ambitions in the final of the Champions League on May 25, and the German Cup final on June 1, 2013, the supervisory board of FC Bayern Munich AG has decided unanimously following intensive discussions, that Uli Hoeness should continue in his function as chairman of the supervisory board of FC Bayern Munich AG," the statement said.

It added that the supervisory board would continue to monitor the situation.

Hoeness admits guilt

Hoeness turned himself into tax authorities in the southern state of Bavaria in January over a bank account in Switzerland, which he had not previously declared in Germany. Under German law, turning oneself in before an investigation has been launched can allow a citizen to avoid criminal charges. However, Hoeness is currently under investigation for alleged tax evasion and if convicted, he could face a jail term.

"I made a foolish mistake, a giant blunder that I'm trying to correct as best as I possibly can," Hoeness said in an interview published in last week's edition of the German weekly Die Zeit. "I'm beating myself up over this. I messed up big time but I'm not an evil person," the former German international added.

Bayern Munich, which has won the Bundesliga title more often than any other team, clinched this year's championship several weeks before the end of the domestic season. They advanced to the Champions League final by beating FC Barcelona by an aggregate score of 7-0 in their two-legged semifinal. They are to face Borussia Dortmund in an all-German final at London's Wembley Stadium.

Their opponents in the Cup final will be VfB Stuttgart.

Prior to Monday's meeting there had been some question as to whether Hoeness, 61, would continue in his posts, but in last week's Die Zeit interview he had ruled out resigning before the Champions League final.

pfd/ccp ( dpa, SID)