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Mar 17, 2014

Prosecution happy with Hoeness verdict

German prosecutors will not appeal former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness’ three-and-a-half-year jail sentence, it was announced on Monday.

• Schaaf: Despite distractions, Bayern make it 50 not out

On Thursday, following a four-day trial, a Munich district court found the Bayern legend guilty of evading tax on 27.2 million euros.

“The prosecution Munich II will not appeal against the sentence made by the Munich district court II on March 13, 2014, in the criminal procedure against Ulrich Hoeness because of tax evasion,” prosecutors said.

Hoeness had already said on Friday that he will accept the verdict and serve his time in prison. The prosecution will now deliver the written verdict to Hoeness’ lawyers, and after that he will receive a summons to start his prison term at Landsberg prison in Munich.

Hoeness resigned as the president of the football club and the chairman of the supervisory board.

Bayern appointed adidas CEO Herbert Hainer as the chairman of the supervisory board, while Karl Hopfner was appointed to the executive committee of the supervisory board “until further notice”.

Hopfner was also proposed as the new Bayern president by the club’s advisory board, and is set to be elected in a general meeting on May 2, 2014.

Elsewhere, the fall from grace of one of German football’s main characters continues to fill huge spaces in the German press.

On Monday, kicker dedicated five pages to the case, with two pages alone to Hoeness’ career, another to statements by Bundesliga and Bayern officials, and the rest to the new Bayern set-up.

In a comment piece, the chief reporter Karl-Heinz Wild wrote that not only Bayern will miss Hoeness, but all of German football will miss one of its biggest players.

However, the case could continue, with several German and Swiss papers questioning Hoeness’ version of making most of his money through trading foreign currencies.

The German broadsheet FAZ commented that there are still several questions left unanswered, most of them circling around “inexplicable streams of money on the Swiss number account, on which there were more than 150 million euros at times.”

The article said that Bayern’s new leaders need to “maintain the credibility” of the club, and quoted a professor of economics as calling for an independent study commissioned by Bayern to clarify the origin of the money on Hoeness’ account.

Hoeness had claimed that the initial 10 million euros were loaned to him by the late former adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus. A few months later Adidas bought 10 percent of the Bayern stock.

“That’s why the study has to begin there, to credibly answer the allegations against club and the AG [stock company]”, FAZ quoted Stephan Grueninger, the professor of economics.

Meanwhile, Franck Ribery has told RTL that Hoeness "remains our president whatever happens".

The man who did so much to make Bayern the football superpower they are today will not face his ordeal alone, the France international winger explained.

"He still remains our president, whatever happens. Bayern is a great team, a big club. We're going to try and do something for Uli. We will always think of him. He was an important person, and will always be important for me."

Hoeness was particularly supportive of Ribery when the player’s own personal life was in turmoil following claims he solicited an underage prostitute.

"It's been seven years I've been with him, he's done a lot of things for me. We have a special relationship," the former Marseille midfielder explained.

"He's a great man. He's someone who lives for football and above all for Bayern, who did things that were best for the club. He's a second father, he's the daddy of everyone."

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