With CEO Oliver Kahn, President Herbert Hainer and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic all coming under increasing pressure because of Bayern’s current season decline, the question arises as to who wields the power at the Bavarian giants. How much control does Uli Hoeneß retain and what is the likelihood of some big changes at the top?
For decades former player Hoeneß ran the club in partnership with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. First as General Manager from 1979 and then as President from 2009, the Rekordmeister were steered expertly by their patriarch until his retirement in 2019. However, despite ‘retiring’ Hoeneß retains a major influence on the supervisory board and could still play a major role in the immediate future of those currently in charge of the club.
Officially the 71-year-old holds the title of honorary president and Deputy Chairman, although he remains the most influential member of the eight-man supervisory board. Herbert Hainer (president) and Dieter Mayer (senior vice-president) are joined by Dr. Edmund Stoiber (former Minister President of Bavaria). Adidas, Allianz, Audi and Deutsche Telekom members make up the eight man board, but Hoeneß is still believed to be the main man.
Although his public appearances and statements have been greatly reduced since his official retirement, he retains a passion for Bayern and must be biting his tongue at the club’s current predicament. The signing of Thomas Tuchel is believed to have been sanctioned by Hoeneß and Hainer alone with no time available to consult the full board. The new coach pointedly thanked Hoeneß at his official unveiling promising to “take care of his club”.
It is believed Hoeneß has been a regular visitor to the Bayern dressing room in recent weeks- a move perhaps seen as flexing his muscles in front of Kahn and Salihamidzic. This week he was also pictured in discussion with Thomas Tuchel on the training ground at the Sabener Straße.
Anyone who knows Hoeneß will know he thinks he knows best when it comes to his beloved Bayern Munich and he will not idly sit by while the club sees it’s place at the top of German football endangered. There are reports that his son Florian is being considered as a replacement should Oliver Kahn be given the boot as the CEO.
Hoeneß was once quoted by a reporter as saying: “Do you think anything is going to happen here without me?” and that could still hold true today. A supervisory board meeting has been called for May 22nd and you can bet your bottom dollar that Hoeneß will be a major player in any changes that are proposed.