Holger Badstuber turned 25 yesterday. It seems like a big number, right? It's the time during which many a player peaks. And yet, Badstuber has not seen the pitch since he was 23. Not many clubs would have stood by him in the manner in which his club. FC Bayern has.
One Family, One Club
I was asked during the Klinsmann era what I felt was the main problem with Bayern's stagnancy. One of the main reasons I cited was the hierarchy; the people at the top, Herr Hoeneß among them, knew how to run a business but had forgotten how to win trophies was my argument. I felt the club had been too trigger happy and were not giving the youth a fair shot.
I stand in 2014 today, with all those claims refuted by the club itself.
Accusations of tax evasion were not enough for Bayern to let go of the very man who has turned the club into a financially well run football machine. The club depends on its success on the pitch to improve, and Hoeneß is part of that winning mentality, too. He won three European Cups as a player with Bayern and oversaw two wins as first, General Manager, and later President.
Now, big Ulrich will hope his lawyers can turn his fate around within the next week. Otherwise, he will be confined to a locked room for the next three and a half years of his life. Ulrich the gambler, of course, is not the Uli we know. The Uli we know is the one who has bailed out several troubled clubs and helped several of his former colleagues. One who has kept FC Bayern a family whereas every other club in the World becomes more of a business by the day.
The next question of course is, if he is to resign, who will fill his humongous shoes? However, for now, it is best to push this back until Bayern give their verdict on Friday or after the upcoming week.
How will this affect the players? The likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm and the aforementioned Badstuber came through the ranks under him as did many a star of today's side. Players are only human. Surely, not even Pep Guardiola can stop the players from feeling the emotional impact of this decision.
While Hoeneß' dealings might not have anything to do with FC Bayern, the club's image might be slightly hit by this decision.
Finally, I would just like to add that what Ulrich Hoeneß did is not excusable, but to the Bayern family, he has been a father and is set to be missed.
"Ulrich, we are not ready to let go" is the line which comes into my mind when I think of a Hoeneß-less Bayern.
Mia San Mia
I would really like to know everyone's thoughts on the verdict