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Apr 23, 2013

Hoeness admits 'substantial mistake'

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has admitted to Sport Bild that he has made a major error over his tax controversy but said he was looking to make amends.

Hoeness told German magazine Focus that he had filed a voluntary disclosure about a Swiss bank account, with later reports claiming he had used it to gamble money on the stock market.

He is said to have failed to pay tax on a sum of around €10 million.

In an interview to be published on Wednesday, Hoeness told Sport Bild he had made a "substantial mistake" but was now trying to "partially make up for it with the voluntary disclosure".

Hoeness has been at the centre of a media storm in Germany. With the build-up towards the German national election in September taking shape, politicians have jumped on the topic of tax fraud, while several German TV stations have aired talk shows discussing the issue.

Government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said on Monday that Chancellor Angela Merkel was "disappointed" by his actions.

Hoeness has made a major impact on Bayern's finances since being named the club's general manager in 1979, recently boasting to World Soccer that the club had not "been in debt now for 32 years", and Seibert added: "The disappointment is even bigger given all the positive things he stands for."