Bayern Munich presidential candidate Karl Hopfner has accused Borussia Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke of making “disgraceful” comments about Uli Hoeness.
In 2004, when Hoeness had operated as CEO, Bayern had loaned Dortmund two million euros to allow them to pay their bills when threatened with bankruptcy.
Watzke -- who was promoted to BVB CEO in 2005 and insisted last year he would rather have “gone begging” than take money from Bayern -- told tz earlier this month the loan did not save Dortmund, claiming his club had to pay eight percent interest and that Hoeness could not be viewed as a “Mother Teresa” figure.
Hoeness has now resigned the Bayern presidency, having been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for tax evasion, but his expected replacement, former Bayern finance executive Hopfner, has spoken out in his defence.
He told Sport Bild: “To use delicate terms, what Mr Watzke has claimed is a gross falsehood.”
Hopfner said he would not compare Watzke to the famous Baron Muenchhausen, a German nobleman in the 18th century and a recounter of tall tales.
He continued: “A falsehood remains a falsehood. I see Baron Muenchhausen as a different figure. Mr Watzke could feel flattered to be compared to him, and I want to avoid doing that in this case.”
Watzke, responding to the remarks in kicker, acknowledged that the interest paid had been lower than eight percent but stressed that the loan was repaid in its entirety by June 2005 and refused to back down over his comments.
“I’ll stick to my main points, which were not discussed by Mr Hopfner,” he said. “FC Bayern did not play a part in saving Borussia Dortmund.”
He added: “Honestly, looking at our history and the lives of the people involved, I can’t see how Borussia Dortmund officials -- in comparison with those at FC Bayern -- have a deficit in credibility.”
Watzke had claimed in January that Bayern were out to “destroy” Dortmund.