BERLIN (Reuters) - Embattled Bayern Munich boss Uli Hoeness has refused to comment on an ongoing tax evasion probe involving a Swiss bank account but plans to defend himself against what he said were “excesses in some media coverage” of the high-profile case.
A day before the newly crowned Bundesliga champions take on Barcelona in the first leg of a Champions League semi-final, Hoeness told the Munich Merkur newspaper on Monday that he would let the dust settle before discussing the issue.
“I will let a few weeks go by before I say anything,” he told the local newspaper. “But I will legally defend myself against the excesses in some media coverage. It will be really expensive for them.”
The outspoken and passionate Bayern president is under investigation for tax evasion after he filed a complaint against himself in relation to a Swiss bank account and then went public with it on Saturday.
The prosecutor’s office in Munich confirmed the probe which has made the front pages in the media across the country for the past two days and triggered mixed reactions from politicians across all major parties.
There were no official details on the amounts involved, although authorities tend to offer some leniency in cases where individuals file a complaint against themselves over tax evasion.
Hoeness, former European champion and World Cup winner with West Germany, is the public face of one of the world’s richest clubs, having served as a successful player, general manager for 30 years and then club president since 2009.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by John O'Brien