Uli Hoeness resigns as Bayern Munich president after court case

Uli Hoeness is expected to make an appeal, as Stephen Evans reports

Uli Hoeness has resigned as Bayern Munich president and chairman in the wake of his conviction for tax evasion.

The 62-year-old, who played for Bayern from 1970-1979 before retiring through injury aged 27, will not appeal against a three-and-a-half year jail sentence.

"Tax evasion was the biggest mistake of my life," he said in a statement. "Bayern Munich is my life's work and will also remain so."

Hoeness was found guilty of evading taxes worth £22.5m (27m euros).

Bayern's vice president Karl Hopfner, 61, looks set to succeed Hoeness as president, while Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer has been appointed as the club's new chairman.

The European champions' board of directors voted unanimously to name Hopfner, who has spent more than 30 years with the club, to head the Bavarian giants and his appointment will be put to a vote at a meeting of the club's general assembly on 2 May.

He joined Bayern in July 1983 as managing director and eventually oversaw the club's transition to a joint-stock company in 2001 before taking a seat on the board.

Hainer, 59, was previously deputy chairman at the German champions and his appointment was unanimously approved by the Bayern board.

"Uli Hoeness has always devoted his leadership qualities, great personal commitment and outstanding lifelong effort to the best interests of Bayern Munich," said Hainer.

"He is very largely responsible for Bayern becoming one of the most successful and attractive clubs in the world both in sporting and financial terms. We offer him heartfelt thanks and gratitude for this."

As a player Hoeness won the 1972 European Championship and the 1974 World Cup with West Germany and three successive European Cups with Bayern.

Following his retirement, he was appointed general manager at German giants Bayern, who have reached three of the last four Champions League finals and won the tournament last year at Wembley.

He was elected Bayern president in November 2009.

He was initially charged with evading £2.9m (3.5m euros) in taxes but then admitted to another £12.5m (15m euros) and was found guilty of "seven serious counts of tax evasion".

In a statement on the Bayern Munich website he said: "After discussing the matter with my family I have decided to accept the judgment. This corresponds to my understanding of integrity, decorum and personal responsibility.

"Evading tax was the biggest mistake of my life. I accept the consequences of this mistake.

"Furthermore I hereby resign the offices of president and chairman with immediate effect. By doing so I wish to avert further damage to my club.

"I will continue to be associated with this magnificent club and its people in other ways for as long as I live. I wish to thank from the heart my personal friends and all followers of Bayern Munich for your support."

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