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Uli Hoeness
Image: Getty Images/Bongarts/A. Hassenstein

Uli Hoeness steps down from Bayern Munich

August 30, 2019

After almost 10 years in the job, Uli Hoeness has stood down as Bayern Munich president. In a further sign of changing times at the top level of the club, former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn will soon return as a board member.


Uli Hoeness, Bayern Munich's president for the past decade, confirmed speculation that he will not stand for reelection in November on Thursday, having overseen an unprecedented period of success for the club.

A statement released by Bayern on Thursday evening read: "Uli Hoeness will no longer run for the office of president at Bayern Munich's annual general meeting on November 15, 2019. On Wednesday, Hoeness informed fellow members of the board, Prof. Dr. Dieter Mayer and Walter Mennekes, as well FC Bayern Munich's advisory board. On Thursday, he announced his decision to the supervisory board of FC Bayern Munich."

In a further sign of an imminent changing of the guard at the German champions, Bayern announced on Friday that former captain and Champions League-winning goalkeeper Oliver Kahn will return to the club as a board member next year before taking over Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's job as chief executive in 2022. Rummenigge's contract expires on December 31, 2021.

Hoeness, along with Rummenigge, has been the driving force behind a sustained period of domestic dominance that has seen Bayern win the Bundesliga in eight of the past nine seasons that he has been chairman, plus a Champions League title in 2013 and several domestic cups. 

Once Hoeness stands down shortly before the club's AGM in November, the former CEO of Adidas, Herbert Hainer, will replace him after he was recommended to the supervisory board by Hoeness. 

What has Hoeness achieved?

Hoeness' influence at Bayern has been unparalleled in German football. He was appointed as the club's general manager in 1979, moving from the field to the boardroom soon after his playing days ended at the age of 27 due to injury.

He joined forces with fellow club legends Franz Beckenbauer and Rummenigge in 1991 to overhaul Bayern from a club with large debts into a commercial and sporting powerhouse and orchestrating the move from the Olympic Stadium in Munich to the brand new Allianz Arena in 2006.

Hoeness achieved infamy when in March 2014 he was convicted for tax fraud to the value of €30 million, resulting in a two-year prison sentence. For many, that took some of the shine off his public image. He resigned as the club stood shoulder to shoulder with him. Despite being convicted, he was reinstated as president upon his release.

While Bayern's run of consecutive Bundesliga titles extended to seven last season, Borussia Dortmund are closing in, and the retirements of club legends Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery has raised question marks over whether Bayern are still capable of challenging the very best teams in Europe.

New direction for Bayern?

The current coach, Niko Kovac, was Hoeness' choice and he delivered the double in his first season. However, the Croatian could be left exposed when Hoeness departs.

Niko Kovac, Uli Hoeness
Niko Kovac was the choice of Hoeness to become Bayern coachImage: picture-alliance/sampics/C. Pahnke

Rummenigge is likely to wield more power after November and his penchant for Italian coaches — and the availability of former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri — could mean a change in the coaching staff should Bayern falter on the field.

Bayern have made some signings this summer, but having missed out on key target Leroy Sane and only bringing in the loan signings of Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho in attacking areas, the club is still no closer to addressing the depth issues out wide that were created with the departure of Ribery and Robben.

Away from the pitch, one of the first tasks for 65-year-old Hainer will be to smooth relations with the club's shareholders, who voiced their criticism of Hoeness for entering into a partnership with Qatar.

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