Hoeness was part of the West Germany side that won the 1974 World Cup.
While Bayern Munich is enjoying the best of times on the pitch, setting records, the man at the helm of affairs, club president, Uli Hoeness, was on Thursday afternoon in Germany, sentenced to 42 months in prison for tax evasion.
The 62-year-old former German international had admitted to dodging €3.5 million (N802 million) in taxes. However, during the trial on Monday, it was revealed that the football administrator had in fact withheld €27.2 million (N6.2 billion).
As reported by The Guardian, federal prosecutor, Achim von Engel, described the case as an “unusually grave case of tax evasion”.
The defence had demanded a suspended sentence, emphasising Mr. Hoeness’s social engagement at the club. The lawyers had argued that their client should be handed a suspended sentence due to the fact that the German legend had confessed to the crime. However, Mr. Hoeness lack of transparency with prosecutors when disclosing the level of his tax fraud had further increased his chances of spending time in jail.
Mr. Hoeness had 35 caps for Germany and he was part of the West Germany side that won the 1974 World Cup. He also won the Bundesliga title three times during his playing days and he is credited for helping to transform Bayern Munich into one of the best teams in the world.
Even before Thursday’s verdict, the most high-profile tax evasion trial in German history already had a noticeable effect. More than 26,000 German tax evaders opted for voluntary disclosure since the Hoeness revelations hit the headlines in 2013. In Bavaria alone, the figure has quadrupled since 2012.
While hoping to get a more succinct view, Bayern Munich say they would not comment on the sentence until after any appeal, although a statement from the supervisory board – which contains high-profile executives from Adidas, German Telekom, Volkswagen and Audi – is expected later on Thursday.
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