Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness to Go on Trial for Tax Evasion

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Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness to Go on Trial for Tax Evasion
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Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness is set to appear in court on tax evasion charges.

As reported by BBC Sport, the 61-year-old faces trial after turning himself in earlier this year:

The ex-West Germany striker, who played for Bayern in the 1970s before moving into the boardroom, reported himself to the authorities earlier this year over an undeclared Swiss bank account.

Hoeness’ actions come after an extremely successful year for his side. Bayern recently completed a historic treble—winning the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League—but remain firmly behind the 1974 World Cup winner.

As noted in Bayern’s statement, via BBC Sport, officials at the Allianz Arena will take no action against Hoeness while his charge remains under investigation:

"The board is of the unanimous opinion that Uli Hoeness shall remain in his position even with a trial being set."

Although specific details surrounding the case remain scarce, Tim Rich of The Independent managed to shed some light back in May, one month after the original allegations arose:

The allegation was that in 2000 Adidas were under pressure from Nike for the Bayern contract.

Adidas's then managing director, Robert Louis-Dreyfus, gave Hoeness a gift of five million deutschmarks (around £1.75m). Hoeness used it to raise a £5m loan to provide the capital for his excursions into the stock market, which he played as hard and obsessively as he did the business of scoring goals.

The profits ended up in a bank account in Zurich on which he allegedly neglected to pay tax.

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Hoeness has refused to comment on the situation, but that hasn’t stopped the authoritative figure of Angela Merkel from sharing her views.

The nation’s chancellor, who tried to pass laws stating any German tax evader could escape legal action if they confess to having unannounced funds in an offshore Swiss account, condemned Hoeness’ actions, per BBC Sport:

"Many people are now disappointed in Uli Hoeness, among them the Chancellor," Merkel’s spokesperson confirmed.

Hoeness' ability to raise money has served Bayern well over the years, helping the club to financial reserves that most cannot compete with. As revealed in Forbes' July report, Bayern are currently the 12th-richest brand across all sports in the world.

Pep Guardiola's team are currently one point clear in the Bundesliga and are yet to taste defeat in this year's campaign, per WhoScored.com.

While Hoeness' off-field activity is unlikely to affect the team's confidence, the German champions will be hoping to quickly resolve the matter that threatens to soil the profile of one of their key representatives.

 

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