A remorseful uli hoeneb has spoken out extensively for the first time about his tax affair and no longer rules out resigning from his posts at FC bayern munchen.
"If i have the feeling that my person is damaging the club, i will draw consequences. On the other hand, the club is in better shape than ever before, both sport-wise and economically – and I played a big part in that. There’s no way I’m resigning before the champions league final," the president and chairman of the supervisory board said in an interview with the newspaper "zeit".
The last few days, when his public image of the powerful bayern patriarch with a heart had changed to that of a tax sunder and bogeyman, have in any case caused the club patron of the german soccer record champion a lot of trouble. "It’s a situation that’s almost unbearable," hoeneb confessed. Full of remorse, the 61-year-old admits to his gambling on the stock exchange and does not rule out legal proceedings. But he defends his FC bayern against all suspicion.
Since the 20. April hoeneb is at the center of a public storm after his self-disclosure became known. "Anyone who evades taxes is behaving irresponsibly or even antisocially," federal president joachim gauck told the "stern" magazine. In an interview also published on wednesday, gauck made it clear that "in our country, there should not be two sets of standards in legal and moral matters, one for the strong and one for the weak. No one is allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to pay taxes."
Hoeneb wants to take responsibility for his "gross folly" and "correct it as best he can," as he assured the newspaper "zeit". "I screwed up big time, but i’m not a bad person," he said. He had actually assumed that he would not have to fear prosecution. On 20. Marz, however, the public prosecutor’s office rang the doorbell of his house at tegernsee at seven o’clock in the morning. "That’s when the hell started for me," hoeneb said. There was even a warrant for his arrest, but it was enforced against payment of a bail amounting to millions.
The 1974 world champion denied any links between his swiss account and bayern. "This account was all uli hoeneb," he said. The club’s top management had also always spoken of a private matter and strengthened hoeneb’s back. Hoeneb has so far refused to resign as president and chairman of the supervisory board.
He does not expect that the controlling body of FC bayern AG will suggest to him to leave his office at least until the matter has been clarified. "From today’s point of view, no, but I can’t foresee how things will develop in the next few days," he stressed. The new supervisory board meets next monday in munich. "This is a decision that only uli hoeneb can make together with the supervisory board," said bayern chairman karl-heinz rummenigge to "bild am feiertag".
Hoeneb admitted to having a "big problem" with his sudden role in the public pillory. "I felt catapulted to the other side of society during those days, i no longer belonged to it," he said. He sleeps badly at night. "I roll myself and roll myself. And then I roll again. And think, think and despair," hoeneb revealed. "I think about my mistake day and night and what i did to my family". I cannot allow this thought," he added.
Despite the turmoil, hoeneb made the trip to barcelona for the champions league semifinal rematch. His club prepared to crown hoeneb’s life’s work with the triple this season, but the club boss can hardly relish these days of such sporting glory. He is apparently even calculating the possibility of an indictment. "If i have to go to court, i won’t appear there as a sick man," hoeneb said, referring to his million-dollar gamble on the financial markets.
For the first time he gave a detailed insight into his speculations on the stock exchange. "In the years 2002 to 2006 i really gambled, i sometimes traded day and night, these were sums that are hard for me to comprehend today, these amounts were already extreme at times. That was the kick, the pure adrenaline," hoeneb explained. After the bursting of the internet bubble in the financial market, he had incurred heavy losses and was "really clammy".
Former adidas boss robert louis-dreyfus supported him with money. "That’s how the millions came into the account, it was always clear that was an account for gambling, for nothing else," hoeneb said. The adidas group had denied a connection between louis-dreyfus’ private financial injections for hoeneb and the negotiations on a strategic partnership of the company with the club in 2001.
He does not consider himself ill, hoeneb assured. "For a few years i was probably close to it. But in the meantime I consider myself cured," the former national player explained. He is "no longer in the constant search for the big kick" as he used to be, he said.
The spectacular hoeneb affair also reignited the political debate on the issue of tax evasion. Coalition and opposition accuse each other of failure in the fight against tax fraud. Discussions about an end to immunity from prosecution by self-disclosure and possible tightening of penalties. Federal president gauck argued for fundamental consideration of "whether stricter laws are not also necessary that turn a questionable act into a criminal offense". What must not be allowed to spread at all is the feeling that if you don’t cheat, it’s your own fault. "This feeling endangers our democracy."
The chancellor had already distanced herself from the bavarian president shortly after the hoeneb case became known and had shown herself to be "disappointed" by the sports official through her spokesman. "I would wish that at some point i would get the opportunity to explain to the chancellor in a personal conversation how it could have come to this, the whole mess," hoeneb said now.