The bavarian gangs demonstratively bolstered the back of their ailing president uli hoeneb with emotional speeches. But the pressure on hoeneb especially from politics is increasing.
After the revelations in the tax affair and the temporary arrest of the club’s patron, on wednesday not only interior minister hans-peter friedrich and SPD chancellor candidate peer steinbruck demanded full disclosure without celebrity bonus. Two-thirds of germans expect hoeneb to resign, but he himself expects only personal damage to his image. "I realize that my credibility suffers from it. But I have to get through this now," he told "sport bild.
On tuesday evening, the businessman was still smiling in celebration of the magical munich soccer gala against FC barcelona. "I think it’s important to be loyal to your friend in a difficult situation, and i got the clear impression today that the entire FC bayern is totally loyal to our friend uli hoeneb," said chairman karl-heinz rummenigge after the 4-0 win in the champions league semifinal first leg.
"It is well known that we are friends and you can say that in the current situation we have become even closer friends because I think that everything that is raining down on him is too excessive from my point of view," bayern coach jupp heynckes explained with much pathos. "Uli of course made a mistake, but uli hoeneb is a very valuable human being."
Just hours later, hoeneb was caught up in the debate about the biggest foul of his career. The case has to be investigated "like any other case. No celebrity bonus, but no celebrity malus either," steinbruck stressed on ARD’s "morgenmagazin" before a topical session of the bundestag on the subject of tax evasion. When asked whether hoeneb should resign or leave his post, he said: "that’s something he has to decide for himself, he has to weigh up in view of the mistakes he has made, possibly even the crimes he has committed."
With all merits, tax evasion is unacceptable, friedrich stressed. If the accusations turn out to be true, "it’s not okay". And he has to be treated the same as any burger. No worse, no better. We have laws for that and the laws apply," the CSU politician said. German finance minister wolfgang schauble (CDU) spoke of a "deplorable individual case" that had disappointed many people.
Dagmar freitag, chairwoman of the bundestag sports committee, considered hoeneb’s behavior to be criminal and "deeply immoral". "Those who cheat must not be able to feel safe across state borders for too long."Martin gerster, sports policy spokesman for the SPD faction, predicted that hoeneb will not come out of the affair unscathed: "i suspect that hoeneb will not be able to hold on to the office of president."
In a representative survey conducted by the market and opinion research institute yougov on behalf of the "bild" newspaper, 63 percent of respondents were also in favor of abdication. The head of the supervisory board of the german record champion had recently ruled out a retreat. "As long as the matter has not been finally clarified, it would be important and right to let the office rest," christian strenger, a member of the government commission on the german corporate governance code, told the frankfurter allgemeine zeitung newspaper. This gives recommendations on good corporate governance for listed companies. "In view of the effect on soccer in general and bayern munchen in particular, however, it would be better if he resigned from office," stressed strenger, a supervisory board member at DWS investment gmbh.
His departures did not even want to deal with such considerations – although, according to information from the "suddeutsche zeitung", there was a warrant for hoeneb’s arrest, which has been suspended. This was confirmed to dpa from judicial circles. A warrant does not have to be the reason for a failed self-denunciation. Hoeneb’s lawyer did not comment on request.
Hoeneb also remained silent in public on tuesday evening. In front of the VIP box, the 61-year-old auberlich, wearing a red-white-red scarf around his neck, accepted the shoulder pats. He was also allowed to accompany his team at the ruck match in barcelona. Two weeks ago, after the preliminary arrest, he also celebrated the quarterfinal success at juventus turin. The AG boss is "not happy and tense at the moment," rummenigge reported from his inner life. "But i think he has a bastion here in the FC bayern that stands by him with total stability."
Honorary president franz beckenbauer also took his longtime departures in defense and even rated the case as a petitesse. "Uli is like that, he fights on all fronts, he does ten things at the same time, so he forgets something in between," said the 1974 world champion on pay-TV channel sky. The borse had been a "hobby" of hoeneb’s. "That was his toy, he played with it. The fact that he exaggerated a bit – I only know what I read in the newspapers – and forgot to pay taxes is something he has to answer for."
The "suddeutsche zeitung" and the "bild" had reported that the affair surrounding hoeneb also involved the former adidas chairman robert louis dreyfus. "The adidas group cannot comment on any private transactions between robert louis-dreyfus and uli hoeneb," the sporting goods manufacturer and bayern’s main sponsor told dpa upon request. The former head of the group was not involved in negotiations on "strategic partnership" with the club, he added.
Herbert hainer took over as chairman of the board of management on 8. March 2001 from dreyfus, the partnership between adidas and the munich-based company was terminated on 18. Announced in september 2001.
That at least the team is not impressed by the public spectacle around their boss, they demonstrated against barca. "This is not an issue for us. You can see that we are concentrating on fubball. All other things – we don’t know anything about that, we don’t know anything about that," said national goalkeeper manuel neuer. The champions league final in london’s wembley stadium can hardly be taken away from munich, the triple is closer than ever before. At a time when hoeneb is being pilloried in such a way, FC bayern is facing the biggest triumph in its club history. It was also the 61-year-old’s life’s work.
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