Hoeness tells Bayern he is stepping down as president

Berlin (AFP) –


Uli Hoeness on Thursday officially told Bayern Munich he is stepping down as president of the Bundesliga champions, the club said in a statement.

At a meeting of the club's board, the 67-year-old confirmed reports he will not be seeking re-election in November with former Adidas boss Herbert Hainer poised to replace him.

Hoeness will however retain his place on Bayern's supervisory board.

On Wednesday, former Bavarian state president Edmund Stoiber, a long-time member of Bayern Munich's supervisory board, shed light on the reasons why Hoeness has decided to step down.

Stoiber, who described Hoeness as the "soul, head and heart" of the club, said persistent disagreements with Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, most importantly over the appointment of Niko Kovac as head coach, had brought matters to a head.

Rummenigge put pressure on Kovac during difficult parts of last season, while Hoeness is a supporter of the head coach, who won the league and cup double last season during his first year.

Hoeness is set to comment more on the matter when he holds a press conference in Munich on Friday.

Since he first joined the club management 40 years ago, Bayern have enjoyed phenomenal success -- claiming the Bundesliga trophy 24 times, the German Cup on 14 occasions and lifted the Champions League trophy in 2001 and 2013.

After a knee injury forced the West Germany international into retirement, Hoeness became general manager in 1979 and was promoted to club president in 2009.

He has overseen a golden era in the club's history -- apart from briefly stepping down as president while serving nearly two years in jail for tax evasion from June 2014 to February 2016.